The United States Army Corps of Engineers gave a press conference this afternoon on the latest status of Missouri River levee repairs, and what's expected for the upcoming flooding season.
Full video of press conference
Because of the mild winter, many of their scheduled repairs are ahead of schedule, especially where flooding hit hard in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa last spring and summer. Their latest numbers report nearly 5 million cubic yards of sand have been used (that's over 2 Empire State Buildings worth of sand) for repair, along with over 1 million cubic yards of clay. In total, the USACE has worked over 1 million hours cumulatively since work began late last year.
There is some good news to report to. Latest snow-pack numbers in the upper-Missouri basin are lower than they were last year. They say that lack of a rapid snowmelt could make this season's flooding less of an issue than it was in 2019.
They said that even though there aren't as many factors that contribute to flooding this year, we're not in the clear. They say that 1 or 2 major storm systems could pose problems as soils remain saturated within the basin, and rapid runoff could cause issues to arise.
They were also very clear that all flooding events come in different flavors, different setups which can all lead to different ways of combating current levee issues. The Corps said with all this in mind that they are ready to work with whatever the spring and summer might bring along the mighty Missouri River.