HEARTLAND FLOOD: Breaches still in need of repair 1 year after flooding

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 6:47 PM CDT
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It's been a major effort to repair the levee system damaged by the heartland flood nearly a year ago. The Army Corps of Engineers says the progress is evident.

But there are many levees that have nothing to do with the Corps and a lot of fixes that still need to be made.

Seventeen breaches in Pottawattamie County have yet to be repaired. Work was delayed until just a few weeks ago when the state came up with funding for the fixes.

"This makes it a lot easier to get moving forward with things because we don't have to focus on every little thing we need to do -- how it's going to have an impact on property owners,” said Doug Reed, Emergency Management.

The levees north of Council Bluffs are not in the Corps of Engineers program which means the cost of repairs falls on taxpayers.

"If we all had our wish we would be enrolled in the Corp program,” said Reed.

But it's not that simple.

"Moving forward with levee improvements so it's up to the standard to be in the Corps program is very, very expensive and the funding's just not there right now,” said Reed.

Travel further south through Mills and Fremont counties and it's a much different story. The vast majority of levees are in the Corps program. And all but one breach has been plugged.

As for when Pottawattamie County might make a push to get into the corps program, it's not any time soon.

"The repairs are --- have a heightened sense of priority and urgency because of potential spring or summer flooding,” said Reed.

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