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Work to repair area levees damaged by '19 floods nears completion

The area saw heavy devastation after floodwaters destroyed farmlands and threatened small towns two years ago.

Posted: Mar 11, 2021 9:49 PM
Updated: Mar 12, 2021 9:50 AM

(ROCK PORT, Mo.) The United States Army Corps of Engineers have been hard at work repairing and refortifying levee systems severely damaged by historic flooding in 2019.

The Corps said the exsisting levee system near Rock Port in Atchison county has been in place for several decades failed under the massive stress of the floodwaters and was breached in five places in the area.

"[Levees] experience five or six high water events in their lifespan," Regan Griffin, Atchison County Levee District said.  "Just like anything with engineering they get fatigued and they get worn out."

The fix to this level of damage, the corps said, required more than just a repair.

"After looking at the damage and devastation that was done to the existing levee, we found it best for the corps of engineers to go ahead and look at a potential realignment for this area." T.J. Davey, construction lead said. 

The solution was to strengthen the whole system by fixing the old levee and adding a new one.

The Corps, with help from multiple federal and private organizations, purchased farmland in the area destroyed by the floods.

Griffin said having both levee systems in place will do a better job keeping the river at bay should waters rise again.

"Even if there is a flooding event," He said. "We’re not looking at holes we’re looking at just cleaning up water afterwards."

Corps officials want nearby residents to breathe a sigh of relief now that the area will soon be better protected from floodwaters.

"We got this back up to a level of protection that the community is going to be able to rely on." Davey said. 

Work on the levee project is expected to be completed late summer 2021. 

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