US Army Corps of Engineers
Omaha District

Missouri River Water Management News

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Work resumes on repairing Union Dike levee

Published March 25, 2019

Omaha, Neb. – In today’s daily update of current flood fight efforts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, resumed work on the Union Dike levee breach repair, near Valley, Nebraska, after a one day weather-caused delay. The breach has been closed and work continues to build the levee to meet federal standards. Work is expected to take a total of six work days to complete and is scheduled to be completed Friday.

There are more than 350 miles of levees on the Missouri, Platte, and Elkhorn Rivers and tributaries that have experienced significant flood damage. Due to the magnitude of damage along these levees, repair of the levee system efforts will take an extended period of time to execute. 

The majority of the levee system south of Omaha remains compromised and vulnerable due to record inflows surpassing their designed protection levels. As of 1130 today, there are 52 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), 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, the District mailed notifications 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.

The Omaha District is currently providing technical assistance in multiple locations. 

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

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.


Contact
Omaha Public Affairs
402-995-2417

Release no. UNRELEASED