Saving Rocky Ripple- the time for action is NOW!

With the September 28 public comment deadline only days away, THE TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW! Please contact the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) regarding their Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Indianapolis, White River (North), IN Flood Damage Reduction Project Phase 3B proposal.
As you know, the ACE cannot do the project without consent from the City of Indianapolis. And a number of residents are trying to seek help from Congressman André Carson.
That said, you are urged to also send copies of your ACE letter to City officials and to Congressman Carson. Here is their contact information:
Army Corps of Engineers
Colonel Luke T. Leonard
District Commander
US Army Corps of Engineers,
Louisville District
PO Box 59
ATTN: CELRL-PM-P-E
Louisville, KY 40201
Comments will also be accepted through e-mail at Michael.Turner@usace.army.mil .
City of Indianapolis
Lori Miser
Director, Indianapolis Department of Public Works
2460 City-County Building
200 E. Washington Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
or lori.miser@indy.gov
You can also contact
Mayor Gregory Ballard
City of Indianapolis
2501 City County Building
200 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
U.S. Congress
Congressman André Carson
District Office
300 E Fall Creek Pkwy N Dr.
Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46205-4258
or (317) 283-6516
or https://forms.house.gov/carson/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm (note: scroll to end of page to access form)
(You can also thank Congressman Carson for his May 4, 2011, letter supporting Rocky Ripple!)
Be sure to reference the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Indianapolis, White River (North), IN Flood Damage Reduction Project Phase 3B. Include your name and address. Before mailing your letter, make copies and send those to the other officials named (or deliver via e-­‐mail).
It is critical that officials here from you. Letters are best. And it’s critical that the letter comes from you! Personalize your letter—officials respond better to your personal reasons for taking a particular position on an issue. And finally, it’s critical that we be professional and polite in our correspondence.
Here are some reasons you might include in your letter for those who oppose the ACE proposals.
• The Army Corps of Engineers should design a plan that protects all life and property.
• The Army Corps of Engineers plans fail to consider the aesthetic, environmental, and economic value of trees and wildlife that will be lost, as well as the sense of community threatened by the proposed alignment.
• The “Rocky Ripple” Alignment, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, would require the removal of many Rocky Ripple riverfront homes through Eminent Domain, which is allegedly required to construct a new levee that conforms to post-Katrina standards. The taking of resident homes is unfair and financially devastating to those residents and to the Town’s tax base. This option, which has been deemed unfeasible by the Corps, would also be bad for the Rocky Ripple community and its residents. We want flood protection without the removal of Rocky Ripple homes.
• The Corps has included costs associated with a new sewer system and lift station, which is not relevant to the flood control project and artificially inflates the Rocky Ripple Alignment costs.
• In the event of a flood warning, the proposed sandbag closures of the 52nd and 53rd Street bridges would prevent any and all traffic into and out of Rocky Ripple, including emergency vehicles.
• Butler University’s Board of Trustees continues to oppose options that exclude Rocky Ripple. The Board recently voted not to support the current plans, or any that does not include protection for Rocky Ripple.
• The Army Corps of Engineers needs to reevaluate its proposals—not enough information is provided in the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. For instance, the ACE should not approve any plan that walls off an entire community and puts any life at risk.
• What guarantee exists that in the event of a major flood event, a gate on 52nd Street would be closed in time to prevent flooding beyond Rocky Ripple? Who within the City of Indianapolis or the Town of Rocky Ripple can provide a 100 percent guarantee that this function will be performed, for instance, at 3 a.m. in driving rain, in January (consider 1991)?
 • The proposed flood wall would adversely affect the property value of homes in the Butler–Tarkington neighborhood and in the Town of Rocky Ripple.
• As tax payers, Rocky Ripple residents should expect (and receive) the same level of flood protection as other tax-paying citizens.
• The American Water Works Association designated the Central Canal as an American Water Landmark in 1971. Compromising the Canal also compromises plans for Art2Art, a project endorsed by Mayor Ballard and supported with a planning grant from the Central Indiana Community Foundation. The proposed project will degrade the aesthetic beauty of this city treasure.
• Citizens’ Water has voiced their opposition to the ACE’s current recommendations.
• Given that the White River will be channeled from Broad Ripple, south to and including the area adjacent to the Riviera Club, residents of Rocky Ripple will become increasingly vulnerable to flood events given that channeled water tends to flow faster and higher, thus further eroding and compromising what remains of the 1930s earthen levee that surrounds the Town of Rocky Ripple.
• Many residents did not live in Rocky Ripple in the mid 1990s. To exclude an entire community based on a straw poll with a ten-vote difference conducted in the mid 1990s is hardly a referendum for failing to protect an entire community from flooding.
Add your personal reasons for wanting the current project stopped and the comment period extended. In stopping the current project, ask officials to reconsider flood protection for Rocky Ripple.
For more ideas, information, and updates, visit http://www.rr4floodprotection.org/.
Here’s a quick summary of the ACE options:
• The Rocky Ripple alignment proposes 300-year flood wall protection along the White River around our community and requires removal of many river houses (a number of them predate 1913!), taken by eminent domain.
• The Westfield Alignment proposes a wall along Westfield Boulevard and the canal; offers no flood protection to our community and it walls Rocky Ripple into the flood plain.
• 56th Street Alignment proposes a wall along 56th Street, affecting the 56th and Illinois Street business corridors and offers no flood protection to our community.
If any of these projects move forward, Rocky Ripple will be adversely impacted. In the end, neighbors must stand together. We as a community deserve the same protections that other communities get.
THE TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW!!
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Rocky Ripple Flash Mob Protest for Indianapolis Levee Project Inclusion

Come help us save Rocky Ripple!

Recently the Army Corp of Engineers and the City of Indianapolis drafted a proposal to finish the Indy Levee Project by walling the town of Rocky Ripple off from the rest of the City of Indianapolis.  Instead of including Rocky Ripple in the Levee Project, as Rocky Ripple and surrounding communities have requested, the Army Corp and the City of Indianapolis have decided that the best course of action is to leave Rocky Ripple dangling unprotected in a flood way and merely sandbag their outgoing streets in the event of a flood, essentially keeping the water that will surely drown Rocky Ripple from getting out.

This is especially disturbing given the fact that the Army Corp of Engineers has declared that Rocky Ripple is in a 7-year flood plain.  Essentially, what the Army Corp of Engineers and the City of Indianapolis are saying is that Rocky Ripple will likely flood in a 7-year time period and very possibly may be destroyed.  It’s hard to imagine that an organization like the Army Corp of Engineers, one of whose primary functions is “emergency response to natural disasters,” has created a proposal that will likely create one.  What’s more, the City of Indianapolis, the city we all pay taxes too, is riding shotgun on this proposal.

Well, we in Rocky Ripple and surrounding communities don’t agree with this illogic.  If the City of Indianapolis and the Army Corp of Engineers has the opportunity to save a vibrant community with over 330 homes and over 700 people, then they should do so.  Period.  Anyone who has ever visited Rocky Ripple will immediately notice the quaint feel of the town and that it is a very special place, one that has no equal in Indianapolis.  It’s a place where everyone DOES know their neighbors and everyone does look out for one another.  Rocky Ripple is a community in every sense of the word and has a right to be protected.

So in that vein we invite everyone to come out and join Rocky Ripple and its neighboring communities for a flash mob event.  Yes, that’s right, we’re going to get together and give the Army Corp of Engineers and the City of Indianapolis a visual of what they are proposing to do.  If they want to see 700 people as good as dead with no homes and no place to go, then so be it.  We’ll get together and sandbag our own streets and we’re going to all lay down, just once, for a group photo.  We’ll even have a plane flying overhead taking pictures, just in case the cameras at ground level can’t capture all of us.  This should be a fun and social event.  We’ll even have food trucks available just in case anyone is hungry.  Invite your friends too.  Our motto is the more the merrier.  If you haven’t been to a good protest lately, this is one you won’t want to miss.

When is this going to happen?  Saturday August 18th and we will start meeting together at 11:30 AM.  We will begin sandbagging at noon and will have a photo op at 1:00 PM.

Where is this going to happen?  At the 53rd Street bridge (at the intersection of 53rd and Westfield Blvd) just as you come into the town of Rocky Ripple.  We will actually congregate at Holt Park just down 53rd street as you cross the bridge into Rocky Ripple and will move to the bridge from there.