The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District completed an initial breach closure on levee L575 near Percival, IA Thursday.
This closure stops the inflows through this breach. The contractor will be increasing the width of the closure from a nominal width of 50 feet to a width of 500 feet, reported the Corps.
A follow-on contract, currently in source selection, will increase the height of the breach closure to provide additional flood risk reduction.
“Our USACE and Contractor team fought through tough challenges such as high water and floating debris in the river to close this critical breach and provide some protection to those affected,” said Brendan Kight, PE, USACE Area Engineer.
The original contract of $7.5 million was awarded to Western Contracting Corporation of Sioux City, Iowa Apr. 14, 2019, and construction began May 4.
The L575 system alone had suffered 7 total breaches, out of the upwards of 50 occurring along the Missouri River in the Omaha District’s area of responsibility.
“The closure of this breach on L575 is the second of the four priority breaches to be closed and was the first of the four to be contracted due to its importance,” said Bret Budd, PE, Chief of the Omaha Systems Restoration Team. “The third priority breach at L-601, north of Bartlett, Iowa, is anticipating closure within the next week and the final priority breach, also on L-575 but located west of Hamburg, Iowa is currently scheduled for closure in late July.”
There are more than 500 miles of levees on the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers, and tributaries that have experienced significant flood damage since March 2019.
Due to the magnitude of damage along these levees, repair of the levee system efforts will take an extended period of time to execute. Levees must be active in the Public Law 84-99 program to be eligible for federal funding for repairs.