The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hopes to have all Missouri River levee repair projects complete by the end of this year.
Corps officials updated the status of levee repairs during a conference call Tuesday. Last summer’s Missouri River flooding caused significant damage in Nebraska and western Iowa. The Corps’ Omaha District has 11 levee repair projects underway, with $99 million dollars in repairs complete.
Brett Budd, chief of the Omaha District’s System Restoration Team, says some already-repaired areas need additional reinforcement. Those areas include the levee system in Council Bluffs, the Omaha Flood Protection Project, and the levee near Percival and Hamburg, Iowa.
Meanwhile, areas of Nebraska and western Iowa needing rain might not get it anytime soon. The National Weather Service expects a warmer-than-average weather pattern in Nebraska and Iowa through June. South Dakota State climatologist Dennis Todey said Tuesday he expects near-normal precipitation chances in the lower Missouri River basin through June.
Warm, dry weather has allowed Corps officials to inspect Missouri River dams following last year’s flood. Budd says additional study is needed to determine the extent of the damage at Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, South Dakota.
Releases from Gavins Point Dam are at 31,000 cubic feet per second. Last year at this time, releases from there were at 110,000 cfs, and the river was more than five feet above flood stage at Omaha.