Missouri River Water Management News

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Corps provides update regarding system restoration activities

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District
Published March 24, 2019

Due to record unregulated runoffs across Nebraska and Iowa, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District has deployed teams across the Upper Missouri River Basin to continue to provide both technical and direct support.

In Sioux Falls and Dell Rapids, South Dakota, teams are providing technical assistance for high flow and snow melt along the Big Sioux and Little Sioux Rivers. In Clear Creek, Nebraska, a District team is assisting with breach closures. Technical assistance is being given to Hamburg, Iowa for the Ditch six levee and there are also teams providing both direct and technical assistance to Watertown, South Dakota and Pacific Junction, Iowa. Additionally, there is a team offering technical assistance to Council Bluffs, Iowa and another team giving direct assistance to Platte County, Nebraska.

A risk of significant flooding continues due to the high plains snowpack in North and South Dakota, especially across eastern South Dakota and the unregulated James and Big Sioux River basins. Warm temperatures continue to melt the snowpack with rises observed are area streams and rivers. Even warmer temperatures are possible mid-week which would result in additional and accelerated snowmelt. Late in the week a storm system is possible across the central plains. The current forecasted track of this system projects the heaviest precipitation to fall across the lower basin, south of the snowpack areas. The lower basin may be snow free, however high soil moisture across this area will result in above average runoff from any precipitation.

Residents located in areas with forecasted weather events should continue to monitor the situation and keep in close contact with their local and state emergency management organizations to stay updated on any emergency conditions and evacuation plans. Levee breaches can happen quickly or gradually and can occur when water overtops a levee and washes out a portion of the levee and can occur at lower water elevations as well. Residents may not have ample warning ahead a levee breach to move to safety.

The majority of the levee system remains compromised and vulnerable due to record inflows surpassing their designed protection levels. As of 1130 today, there are 54 confirmed full/partial breaches at L611-614 (South of Council Bluffs, IA), L-601 (South of Glenwood, IA), L-594 (near Fremont County, IA), L-575 (Fremont County, IA), L-550 (Atchison County, MO), L-536 (Atchinson County, Mo), R-613 (Sarpy County), R-562 (Nemaha County, NE), Western Sarpy (Ashland, NE), Clear Creek (Ashland, NE), Union Levee (Valley, NE), and R-573 (Otoe County, NE). There is only one levee that remains overtopping, L-550.

Today, breach repair work was temporarily postponed on the Union Dike levee, near Valley Nebraska, due to the wet weather.  However, materials continued to be delivered throughout the day so work can continue tomorrow.  Work is expected to take a total of six WORK days to complete.

Tomorrow, the District will be sending notification to levee sponsors in the PL 84-99 program with information on how to request damage assessment and levee repairs. Levees must be active in the Public Law 84-99 program to be eligible for repairs.

Omaha District’s focus remains on ensuring the safety of citizens and communicating the conditions on the river systems to all of our partners and stakeholders. The Corps continues to provide flood fight assistance to state, local, and tribal government agencies.

The Omaha District has distributed approximately 227,000 sandbags, 2,020 super sandbags, 9,930 feet of HESCO barriers, seven pumps and 21 poly rolls.

The first source of information for citizens is their local emergency managers. For questions or concerns you can call 211, which is a national resource hotline and website geared to local area needs.


Public Affairs Office
1616 Capitol Ave. Omaha, NE 68102

Release no. UNRELEASED