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Levee near Lashara family’s home to finally be repaired

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:24 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The drought in the area has been a hardship for those in agriculture but for some families living in the country, it’s provided a reprieve.

Eighteen months ago, the ice-packed Platte River broke through a levee near Lashara leaving a 650-foot gap not far from the Pratt home.

“I was praying to god please don’t let it rain, storm or blizzards or anything until this dike is fixed.”

All summer the gap has been open while the Pratts watched our coverage of other levee repairs.

“You see all these other places getting done and you’re going what about me you know but you don’t want to be selfish,” said Mike Pratt.

But after numerous calls and emails from Six on Your Side FEMA has just approved the $437,000 levee repair. Federal funds will pay 75 percent that remaining quarter of the cost split state and local agencies.

“The day you called and said it’s going to get done, Rita slept like a baby,” said Mike.

“It’s going to finally really get done, I feel really this time it’s done,” said Rita.

The levee repair project could be completed by late this year.

The project engineer tells me it will actually be easier to repair the levee during the winter. Typically, river levels are down and there will be fewer environmental issues like with migratory birds.

The levee repair is hardly a patch. It will be 650 feet long 40 feet wide and 12 feet high. There’s plenty of dirt and sand but a shortage of rip rap may cause a delay.

Still, the Pratts know now that the levee gap not far from their home will soon be filled with a stronger material than red tape.

The Saunders County Emergency Management Director says a request for bids has to be posted for two weeks. The cost can’t exceed the budget, but he says some contractors have expressed interest in bidding on the project.

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