The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, in conjunction with the city of Hamburg, Iowa, will tomorrow (May 5) conduct a groundbreaking ceremony to kickoff construction to rehabilitate the Hamburg Ditch 6 levee.
“I’m excited to join Mayor Cathy Crain and the city of Hamburg on this important project agreement to raise flood protection around the city of Hamburg,” said Col. Mark Himes, Commander, USACE-Omaha. “I look forward to working with the city in the upcoming construction.”
USACE and the city of Hamburg signed the Section 1176 project agreement Feb. 9 to allow raising the Hamburg Ditch 6 levee eight feet, significantly increasing the flood risk management benefits the levee provides to the city.
This significant achievement comes after the Omaha District, City of Hamburg, and other stakeholders have worked diligently with Headquarters USACE and Northwestern Division to implement the Section 1176 Authority from the 2016 Water Resources Development Act. This is the first project across the nation to utilize the Section 1176 authority to raise the height of a federal levee system.
The Hamburg Ditch 6 levee was overtopped and sustained severe damage during the 2019 floods, leading to significant flooding within the city of Hamburg. Under the PL 84-99 program, USACE can restore levees active in the program to their pre-flood congressionally authorized elevation.
Section 1176 allows a levee sponsor, at their cost, an avenue to raise the elevation of a levee above its current congressionally authorized elevation after developing engineering drawings and completing studies demonstrating that the modified levee will not produce adverse impacts as a result of the raise.
In total, the city of Hamburg, with support from other stakeholders, will contribute $7-8 million to raise the Ditch 6 levee to its new elevation and provide additional flood risk management benefits to the city.
Although significant strides have been made in repairing the more than 350 miles of levees across the Lower Missouri River Basin that were damaged following the historic floods of 2019, a heightened level of flood risk remains for the communities and landowners behind these damaged levee systems as repair efforts remain ongoing.