Missouri River Water Management News

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Temporary repairs to Union Dike levee complete

Published March 28, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, completed initial repairs a day earlier than scheduled on the Union Dike levee near Valley, Nebraska.Work on the levee started March 25. The repairs are temporary, but will address a 500-foot section of breach caused by recent flooding in the area, and will serve to prevent future flood waters from entering the affected area. 

There are more than 350 miles of levees on the Missouri, Platte, and Elkhorn Rivers and tributaries that have experienced significant flood damage. There are 54 confirmed full/partial breaches and overtopppings. Due to the magnitude of damage along these levees, repair of the levee system efforts will take an extended period of time to execute.

A risk of significant flooding continues due to the recent snowmelt and remaining snowpack across portions of North and South Dakota, especially across northeastern South Dakota and the unregulated James and Big Sioux River basins. Significant snowmelt occurred yesterday due to warm temperatures across the Dakotas resulting in rises on already high flowing streams and rivers. Cooler temperatures are expected into next week, however rises are likely to continue in several locations through at least the weekend due to addition snowmelt and moving of the recent snowmelt water through the system.

A storm system is moving across the Rocky Mountains and central plains through Saturday. Some of the precipitation is forecasted to fall as snow across the western basin with the majority of the precipitation across the eastern basin falling as rainfall. The current forecasted track of this system projects the heaviest precipitation to fall well south of the snowpack areas. The lower basin maybe snow free, however high soil moisture across this area would suggest above average runoff from any precipitation.

Residents should continue to monitor the situation and keep in close contact with their local and state emergency management organizations to stay updated on any evacuation plans and emergency conditions. 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.

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 248,000 sandbags, 2,020 super sandbags, 16,500 feet of HESCO barriers, eight 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.

Omaha Public Affairs

Release no. UNRELEASED