Levees damaged by floodwaters remain vulnerable with spring only a few months away.
Army Corps of Engineers officials say Congress has approved enough money to make emergency repairs to the Missouri River Basin levee system. Money to restore the levees to pre-flood condition has been promised.
Kim Thomas, chief of the Missouri River Basin Management Office, acknowledges the levees are in critical condition. Flooding in 2011 strained the levees. Floodwaters overtopped some, undermined others and punched holes in some. Thomas says those repairs should be completed before spring.
Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District, Colonel Robert Ruch, says the Corps will concentrate its efforts on repairing the critical sections of the levees damaged by the flood.
“You remember most of those levees held up very well through the flood of 2011,” Ruch says. “So, we know we’re our greatest weaknesses are and that is where we’re putting our greatest strength.”
Ruch doesn’t expect a problem with funding. He has been assured the money for repairs will be forthcoming. Ruch says the Corps likely needs a full year to restore the Missouri River Basin levee system to pre-flood conditions.