Iowa gov. says integrity of levees a concern


June 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says he’s concerned as to how levees in western Iowa will hold up to high water along the Missouri River for a prolonged period. The governor was in Council Bluffs Friday to view flood-fighting efforts and provide an update on the state’s response.

The Missouri is rising rapidly because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is increasing the amount of water it releases from upstream reservoirs to deal with heavy spring rains and snowpack. The river is expected to crest 5 to 7 feet above flood stage in Iowa and Nebraska next week, but the water will remain high until at least August.

Branstad says communities are responding well to the flood threat but the long-term integrity of the levees is foremost on everyone’s mind.