Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say the Missouri River levees will hold, even though they’ve been standing against the floodwater nearly 60 days. A small levee break near Logan in Harrison County this week impacted three homes, but there were no evacuations ordered.
Jud Kneuven, chief of the emergency management branch of Corps’ Kansas City office, says the levees were built to withstand the pressure. “They’ll be able to continue to perform and we expect them to,” Kneuven says.
The levee system proved itself during the massive flooding in 1993 and while the floodwalls are having to hold back the murky water longer this year, he says they still should be able to keep the water away from homes and property.
Kneuven says, “Barring we don’t see water at the top of these levee systems again and we don’t see water going over the top, it should be expected that they will continue to perform.” While there have been some breaches, Kneuven says the seepage and the sand boils that are forming around the levees are natural.
“If you flew the river like we did each and every day and seen the number of sand boils along the entire levee system, you’d be amazed that how much punishment the levee system can take,” Kneuven says. “It is taking it and we expect it to continue to take it.” The Corps is scheduled to slightly back off of water releases from upstream dams at the beginning of August, but he says the Missouri River isn’t expected to fall back into its banks until September, at the earliest.