Corps of Engineers, emergency managers prepare for 2012 runoff season

Feb 22, 2012

The leader of the Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District believes the agency is better prepared in the event of flooding this year.

About 70 emergency managers and levee sponsors gathered Tuesday in Omaha for the annual Missouri River flood fight preparedness training. Last year’s Missouri River flooding inundated farms, businesses, and homes in western Iowa for more than three months.

Colonel Robert Ruch, Commander of the Corps’ Omaha District. He says last year’s flood provided some valuable lessons. “We’ve seen what sponsors do, what their closure plans are, and we see where the hiccups are because, you know, we have not had a major flood on this system in a very long time, especially north of the Platte River.”

Ruch says five levee breaches near Percival and Hamburg, Iowa, should be fully repaired by next Thursday. He anticipates all repairs along the Missouri River basin from Omaha to Rulo will be complete by the end of 2012.

The Omaha District plans to do $280 million dollars worth of levee rehabilitation projects.

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