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Missouri River levee repair ahead of what was expected

A US Army Corps of Engineers official says repair of Kansas City District levees from spring 2019 floods is moving faster than expected. Colonel Bill Hannan, commander of the Kansas City District, was on the Capital View Levee at Jefferson City, Missouri inspecting repair progress. Repair on that levee is almost finished, but Colonel Hannan told Brownfield Ag News he’s taking home concerns he’s heard from local stakeholders.

“How do we move faster after a flood event,” said Colonel Hannan, addressing a group of reporters, “and what can we do in the future to prevent some of the devastation and damage that we saw after 2019.”

Missouri Corn Growers Vice President Jay Fischer, who farms land adjacent to the levee, tells Brownfield repair is always slower than he’d like, but it’s ahead of what he expected.

“For everything that we’ve been through, the COVID thing also played a little, probably, in slowing progress, but we’ve done really well, probably better than a lot of people have,” said Fischer. “I’m just thankful to be where we’re at today.”

More than 43,000 cubic yards of fill were required to repair seven breaches in Capital View Levee alone. The cost of repairing that levee was $267,500.

Not all the levees in the Kansas City District are Federal. Rehabilitation of non-Federal projects is cost shared at 80 percent Federal and 20 percent from the public sponsor, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Roger Fischer, county commissioner in Calloway County, where the Capital View Levee is located, calls the levee repair progress “phenomenal.”

“Going into March of this year,” Commissioner Fischer told Brownfield, “if I were a betting man, I’d bet that this wouldn’t have happened until late in 2021.”

AUDIO: Colonel Bill Hannan USACE
AUDIO: Jay Fischer
AUDIO: Commissioner Roger Fischer

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