Missouri River Water Management News

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USACE reaches milestones in levee repairs

Published March 19, 2021
Crews repair one of the levees damaged along the Missouri River.

Crews repair one of the levees damaged along the Missouri River.

In the two years since floods devastated levees along the Missouri River and its tributaries, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District has made tremendous progress in restoring the damaged.

To date, 44 contracts totaling $470 million have been awarded, with 35 of those now complete. The work so far includes:

  • First contract awarded March 26, 2019
  • 26 breaches closed
  • 29 levee systems repaired
  • 11.5 million cubic yards of soil moved (enough to fill AT&T stadium three times)
  • 795,000 tons of rock placed
  • 705,000 square feet of sheetpile placed (if laid end-to-end) would stretch from Omaha to Lincoln)

All levee systems eligible for PL 84-99 rehabilitation assistance within the Omaha District area of responsibility have now been returned to their full height.

Although significant strides have been made in repairing the over 350 miles of federal levees across the Lower Missouri River Basin that were damaged following the historic floods of 2019, a heightened level of flood risk remains for the communities and landowners behind these damaged levee systems as repair efforts remain ongoing. This risk is higher than it was prior to the flood event because the levees are comprised of a series of components that all function together to create a complete levee system, and until all of these components, (such as seepage berms and relief wells) are repaired, the system does not fully provide the same level of flood risk reduction as it did in its pre-flood condition.

The Omaha District remains focused on ensuring the safety of citizens and remain positioned to provide flood fight assistance to state, local and tribal government agencies, as appropriate. We will also continue working with our other federal partners to communicate the conditions on the river systems as we look towards the 2021 run-off season. When severe weather and/or heavy precipitation is forecasted, the public is encouraged to keep in contact with their local emergency managers for the latest conditions in their area.

Release no. 21-019