Missouri River levee system still vulnerable after devastating flooding

1 year 2 months 1 week ago Tuesday, August 06 2019 Aug 6, 2019 Tuesday, August 06, 2019 8:38:00 PM CDT August 06, 2019 in News
By: Garrett Jones, KOMU 8 News
loading

CARROLLTON- Even as cities affected by May's tornado damage and this summer's immense flooding begin to recover, another problem waits around the corner.

Many levees along the Missouri River are broken. If rain keeps coming and they can't be repaired, there could be even more devastation.

High precipitation below river dams, extreme weather in Missouri, and the water that was already in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa has flowed Missouri led to extreme flooding in the past nine months.

These issues raise water levels in the river. The levee and dam system in place from the Army Corps of Engineers come in.

Dams are designed to take in some of that extra water and fill resevoirs. But if the water rises higher than the levees, it's all for nothing. 

The levees are elevated embankments designed to act as a wall to protect places near the river. Many along the Missouri River have already failed, and more could break if the waters don't recede enough for proper repairs.

Carrollton is a small town east of Kansas City along the Missouri river. They saw devastating damage from the flooding, and as of late July, their flood waters haven't receded.

Now, for Carrollton and towns like it, it's a waiting game. First, flood waters have to recede low enough for the levees to be repaired. The Army Corps of engineers is largely responsible for facilitating the repairs.

However, it has to take one levee repair at a time, and it's costly. J. David Rogers is the Hasselmann Professor of Geological Engineering at Missouri S&T. He has studied the dams for years, and said it can be tricky to pick where to start.

"The river doesn't obey state lines or policies," Rogers said. "(The Army Corps) is sending repairs to places where flooding has the biggest economic impact. It's an investment."

The issue is also compounded in that the Army Corps has to split the repair budget with money allocated to hurricane repairs.

According to public reports on their Northwestern District website, the 2019 water levels are the second-highest the Missouri River basin’s water level has ever been, trailing only the waters that led to devastating flooding in 2011.

People and their property say they are hurting. Many say they are wondering who to blame. Greg Arnold, whose bait and tackle has seen a 70% drop in business as a result, said it's not a problem going away any time soon.

"I have a bad, gut feeling about the future, because I feel these floods are going to continue every year, or two or three," Arnold said.

Carrollton's story is that of every city on the river. Residents say they want help on so they can be safe, but trust that everyone can "play ball." Their levee is broken, and they applied for an emergency funds to fix it.

If they don't? The flooding could be even worse next year.

More News

Grid
List
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump on Saturday signed into law a bipartisan bill that will make 9-8-8 the universal telephone... More >>
35 minutes ago Monday, October 19 2020 Oct 19, 2020 Monday, October 19, 2020 9:54:00 AM CDT October 19, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
CPS elementary families prepare students for in-person learning Elementary students enrolled in Columbia Public Schools will begin attending... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 19 2020 Oct 19, 2020 Monday, October 19, 2020 4:21:00 AM CDT October 19, 2020 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri has seen a rise in crime in recent years. The most recent FBI Uniform Crime Reporting... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 9:22:00 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - By now you’re aware science tells us the only way to slow our rapidly changing climate is to... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 8:54:00 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in Climate
COLUMBIA– Elementary students enrolled in Columbia Public Schools will begin attending school for classes starting Monday. Many parents... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 6:27:00 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Candidates for Missouri's District 19 State Senate seat condemned a false text message reportedly sent to voters this... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 3:34:00 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in News
(CNN) - Blazes roaring through Colorado and Utah have pushed people from their homes and caused damage that officials have... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 1:15:03 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in News
(CNN) - If you're unable to get a cell phone signal when you walk your dog around the block, this... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 12:10:00 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Layered bar/line... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 9:40:00 AM CDT October 18, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Boone County Democrats and Republicans have found common ground -- voting this year is confusing. "Our primary... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 17 2020 Oct 17, 2020 Saturday, October 17, 2020 4:01:00 PM CDT October 17, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Get ready for the most difficult months yet in this pandemic. The fall Covid-19 surge is here... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 17 2020 Oct 17, 2020 Saturday, October 17, 2020 3:08:39 PM CDT October 17, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The attorney for a Black Missouri woman whose arrest when she was nine-months pregnant sparked... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 17 2020 Oct 17, 2020 Saturday, October 17, 2020 11:06:05 AM CDT October 17, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Layered bar/line... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 17 2020 Oct 17, 2020 Saturday, October 17, 2020 9:32:00 AM CDT October 17, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- The federal government has made a deal with retail pharmacies CVS and Walgreens to help distribute coronavirus vaccine... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 16 2020 Oct 16, 2020 Friday, October 16, 2020 8:27:00 PM CDT October 16, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol held a forum on the use of force and training Friday morning.... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 16 2020 Oct 16, 2020 Friday, October 16, 2020 7:00:00 PM CDT October 16, 2020 in News
CLAYTON — The ousted diversity director for St. Louis County alleges in a lawsuit that she was dismissed in retaliation... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 16 2020 Oct 16, 2020 Friday, October 16, 2020 6:02:00 PM CDT October 16, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- COVID-19 continues to make a ruckus in the SEC football schedule. KOMU 8 Sports has confirmed Missouri will... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 16 2020 Oct 16, 2020 Friday, October 16, 2020 5:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2020 in News
Welcome to Week 8 of Friday Night Fever! Our Game of the Week features the Blair Oaks Falcons traveling to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 16 2020 Oct 16, 2020 Friday, October 16, 2020 5:43:00 PM CDT October 16, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
11am 45°
12pm 46°
1pm 46°
2pm 47°