Historic New Harmony keeps wary eye on river

The Associated Press
Members of the Indiana Army National Guard place sandbags along the Wabash River in New Harmony, Ind., Tuesday, April 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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Members of the Indiana Army National Guard place sandbags along the Wabash River in New Harmony, Ind., Tuesday, April 26, 2011.

A historic Wabash River town is enlisting Indiana National Guard troops and state prison inmates to shore up a levee protecting its drinking water plant.

Posey County Emergency Management Director Larry Robb says the crews have spent two days placing sandbags along 1,300 feet of the levee in New Harmony, the site of a 19th century utopian settlement.

Robb says Ohio river flooding prevents the Wabash from discharging. Officials fear the water could breach the levee and damage the plant providing drinking water for 900 people.

He says the river isn't expected to crest until early next week.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says 225 Indiana National Guard soldiers and 38 state inmates helped with sandbagging and other flood control in Posey and three other southwestern Indiana counties.