HEARTLAND FLOOD: Levee breach temporarily plugged near Interstate 29 in Pottawatomie County

POTTAWATOMIE, Iowa (WOWT)-- A temporary levee that has recently been plugged just a mile from the interstate in Iowa could end up saving millions of dollars. It’s all thanks to one local man who took matters into his own hands.

In Pottawattamie County just three weeks ago the Boyer River was flowing right over farmland and county roads, now this area and Interstate 29 is drying up.

According to Doug Reed with Pottawattamie Emergency Management, rocks will eventually be added to the levee for a more permanent fix but until then this should go a long way to get things drying up.

"As the river starts to go down the water will be able to travel back to the river, so it's going to help speed things up in the area quite a bit, we're hoping,” said Reed.

According to Reed, now that this area is drying up they can start fixing the rest of the levees.

Rick West has lived in Northwest Pottawattamie County his entire life, and thanks in large part to his efforts, this fix was possible.

West has been visiting the surrounding areas giving officials first-hand looks at the damaged levees. The levees are funded by property taxes and without a large enough tax base to cover the cost of repairs it has been a challenge to find the funds.

According to Emergency Management, West’s efforts have been heard and officials are finding the money.

“There’s a real grassroots effort up there by the residents that have helped us push awareness of what’s still going on in our country,” said West.

Officials are hopeful that the temporary fix will help and get the ball rolling.