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Army Corps of Engineers requiring levee districts to move levees in order to protect land

Since the Mississippi River toppled several levees north of St. Louis, ABC 17 News is checking on the condition of levees along the Missouri River to see if the region is in danger.

The Army Corps of Engineers is forcing all levees to make significant changes and levee districts in central Missouri are currently determining what needs to be improved to protect residents.

One change is that there needs to be 15 to 20 feet between the river and the levees.

That means officials will have to physically move some levees about 30 to 40 feet into what is currently farmland.

Land owners told ABC 17 News that they do not want the levees to move, however, if they want to receive financial assistance in case of a flood, the move has to be done.

The new unfunded mandates are expected to cost the McBaine levee district hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Officials will have to choose wisely when to make the changes because during the completion of the project, the land will be vulnerable to flooding.

“When we move this levee over, we’re going to have to use the dirt from this levee to make that levee, so while we’re doing that, we’ll be without levee protection,” said McBaine Levee District President John Sam Williamson.

Officials say they will start the project this summer by clearing out trees and limbs so that they can start moving the levees in the coming months or years.

There is no timetable on when the changes will need to be completed by.

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