Council Bluffs flood fighting price tag: $5.6M and climbing daily
July 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson
The water level along the flooding Missouri River in Council Bluffs is holding steady, for now, which the town’s mayor says is good news in that the fast-moving, muddy water isn’t doing any more damage. Mayor Tom Hanafan says it remains an around-the-clock battle against the high water.
Hanafan says, “It’s a constant 24-hour-a-day operation but with no rain right now, it’s really helped us get through some tough times and get some things done.” He says he’s overwhelmed with the response from volunteers who continue to come daily to fill sandbags, which has helped the city save a little money.
“We fill (sandbags) every day,” Hanafan says. “We count every bag, every day, because as we fill them, crews are taking them out and using them for different operations.” He says Council Bluffs has spent about five-point-six million dollars fighting flooding — after about 46 days so far. The mayor says that figure covers personnel, equipment and outside resources. Levee monitoring is ongoing and small leaks are being quickly repaired to prevent a major breach and more evacuations.