Parsons and Tucker County officials met with the Army Corps of Engineers Thursday morning to assess the damage done to the Pulp Mill Bottom Dike on the Shavers Fork River just outside Parsons. As it turns out, the dike doesn't serve the purpose that people thought it did.
"This is a diversionary dike. It's not recognized as a dam or a flood-prevention structure, is what we were just informed of. It's a diversionary dike to, in a high water event, to divert water away from town, basically," said city councilman Tim Auvil.
But that's small comfort for many in the area. County Commissioner Mike Rosenau said past incidents keep residents concerned enough to want the structure repaired no matter what it does.
"We lived through the '85 flood, most of us here in Parsons, so we know what could happen. The potential's there with the river. We want to get it fixed as quickly as possible to try to help protect us in any way that we can," said Rosenau.
And since Tucker County is so high in the mountains, winter isn't far away. With winter comes ice in the river, and Auvil is worried that it may further damage the dike before it can be repaired. He'll be doing what he can to see a fix happen before the cold weather sets in.
"What we're going to do it keep our elected officials' feet to the fire to keep this on a priority list and try to keep it on a top shelf to be able to figure out a solution to the problem," said Auvil.
Crews also investigated another area in danger of flooding in nearby Hendricks after assessing damage to the dike.