The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to build a new, three-mile long levee near Nebraska City.
The $12.9 million project will re-align levee L-575 along Highway 2. It’ll be built further away from the Missouri River than the existing section of levee. Once it’s built, the existing levee at that location in Fremont County, Iowa, will be torn down. The Corps of Engineers awarded a contract earlier this week for the levee setback project.
The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District is contributing $2 million toward additional upgrades and a study of Omaha’s levee system.
The study is required for FEMA recertification of the levee system. That’s separate from what’s done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. FEMA began requiring levee certifications after Hurricane Katrina.
The 2012 spring runoff season is underway along the Missouri River.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials say releases from Gavins Point Dam averaged 22,000 cubic feet per second during February. It’ll stay at that level through the middle of this month, and then increase for the start of the navigation season. Last year’s record runoff season led to devastating flooding along the Missouri River in Nebraska and Iowa.
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.