Engineers Monitoring Missouri River Levees

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BOONE COUNTY - Engineers are keeping a close eye on Missouri River levees following a snow-heavy winter and high rainfall this spring. In addition to monitoring potential flooding, engineers are repairing parts of levees damaged by erosion.

McBaine Levee District president John Williamson said river reservoirs in North and South Dakota are releasing record amounts of water which will raise the Missouri River in Boone County higher than average.

"Now we're in a situation where all the resevoirs are full or overflowing, they've opened emergency spill waves, they're going to release twice the previous record amount of water from them... and that water has to come down the Missouri River."

The Missouri river usually crests highest in May, June and July. Levees in that district protect farmland, as well as Columbia's water treatment plant, city wells and sewage plants for the City of Columbia. The Missouri Department of Conservation's Eagle Bluffs Wildlife is also located in the river bottom.

The Army Corps of Engineers has identified one trouble spot where Perche Creek has eroded part of a levee. The neighboring land is owned by an Anheuser-Busch executive who uses the land for farming. The district hired contractor C.L. Richardson to fix the levee, and work should be completed later this week.

"This is important that we get this done," said Williamson. "We need to be doing it anyway, even if we weren't threatened with flooding. But that's one reason its been moved to the top of the priority list."