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Missouri River flood likelihood high, levee repair will take time

Federal officials say the spring flood outlook is higher than normal especially along the Missouri River.

“It’s going to be another tough year, I think, for folks,” said Jud Kneuvean, emergency management chief at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District. The combination of residual circumstances from last year means a greater likelihood of repeating 2019’s high water events, according to Kneuvean.

“We have lots of levees that are damaged, a lot of them are open, meaning they’re breached and they won’t be repaired prior to spring,” Kneuvean told Brownfield Ag News Monday, “and then currently the outlook for flooding is above normal.”

Rivers are high and there’s a lot of snow in the Dakotas covering saturated ground. Fixing levees damaged by 2019 flooding will take time, said Kneuvean.

“This is probably a two-year effort and so we probably will not have all the levees repaired from the 2019 damages until at least the spring or summer of 2021,” he said.

People should be vigilant for the possibility of flooding from rain and spring thawing, said Kneuvean.

AUDIO: Jud Kneuvean

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