Both Augusta and Hamburg were built on low ground for easy access to the Savannah River. And the river threatened their existence with a damaging “freshet” or flood about every 15 years. (Page 7 of this report has a great rundown on Savannah River floods since 1796.) While both cities suffered equally for many years, Augusta finally gained an advantage in 1915 with the construction of its first levee. While both this levee and the power canal occasionally failed the test in following years, the levee proved its worth in 1925 when a modest flood passed Augusta by, but hit Hamburg as usual.

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