A long summer of waiting and watching is underway along the Missouri River as floodwaters breach levees in northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa.
Three partial breaches of the Missouri River levee protecting Hamburg, Iowa just across the state line have given way to a full breach, a 300-foot wide hole sending floodwaters toward a secondary levee. A levee southwest of Craig breached, threatening Big Lake in northwest Missouri. And, rain is expected to fall in the area.
Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Manager Chief Jody Farhat says the effect of that rain downstream depends.
“Some of that rain won’t even come into the Missouri River Basin. Other portions of that will come down some of those northern Missouri tributaries,” Farhat told a telephone news conference. “Timing of that and where it actually falls will determine the effect on the lower Missouri River.”
A secondary levee hopes to hold back water from Hamburg; and from cutting off I-29 in northern Missouri and southern Iowa.
Corps of Engineers Colonel Bob Ruch in Omaha is optimistic the secondary levee will hold.
“Well, I wouldn’t be building it, if I didn’t think it would hold,” Ruch told the Missourinet. “We have great material down there, good working conditions, haven’t had a lot of rain, so, so far, we’ve been making very good progress there.”
Heavy rain and run-off from snowfall in Montana and the Dakotas have put tremendous pressure on the six dams upstream on the Missouri River. The Corps has been releasing water from the reservoirs to keep it from overflowing the dams, sending more water into an already swollen Missouri River.