Some possibly good news at last for those on the Missouri River who have been desperate for levee repairs to commence:
Missouri is chipping in $3.3 million to help fix seven flood-battered northwest Missouri levees and likely will provide more repair money for three other levees in the next couple weeks.
[A] nationwide disaster relief bill… includes $388 million to repair levees on the Missouri River…
The Missouri funds will include $1.4 million in matching money for five of the most damaged levees in the corps' Kansas City district, which stretches from Rulo, Neb., to the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers in the St. Louis area. Those levees are the Union Township Levee District and Holt Levee District-10 in Holt County, Bean Lake Levee District in Platte County, the Rushville-Sugar Lake Association Levee in Buchanan County, and the Wakenda Levee District in Carroll County. All of them were overtopped and breached.
An additional $1.9 million will be used to help operators of flood-damaged levees that aren't part of the federal repair program - the Big Tarkio Drainage District and the Corning Levee District, both in Holt County. […]
Before the infusion of federal money, the corps had said it only had money available to fix 11 of 68 Missouri River levees. The hope is that all of them will be repaired now…
If things move smoothly, and at a relatively quick-like pace (good luck), that could be very good news indeed.
And then there’s this:
Things are looking a lot better in the upper Missouri River basin states than they did last year at this time—in terms of the possibility for later flooding in Missouri. The Corps of Engineers relies on information from the National Climate Prediction Center and climatologists such as Dennis Todey (toddy), who says the snow on the North Dakota and Montana prairies are nowhere near where it was last year. And the mountain snow accumulation is about average or below average. But it’s still early in the snowfall season in those upstream states.
Todey says the ground is dry in those areas too, meaning the soil can absorb more snowmelt that the already-wet soils were able to absorb last year.
All of that means that if the trend continues, less water is likely to run into Missouri River upstream reservoirs when the snow starts to melt.
A particularly dry river basin would make things a lot easier if levee repairs run longer than anticipated, and would be a much-needed break for Missouri River residents bombarded by water in 2011.
Hopefully we can learn from the mistakes of last year as we move forward with river flood plans.