Missouri River Levees Return to Pre-Flood Conditions

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has indicated that the Missouri River levee system’s protection level is back to what it was before the major 2011 floods. The 2011 Missouri River flood (145 days) was the longest-lasting in recorded history. It overtopped or breached 157 levees, most of them privately-maintained, and caused millions of dollars in damage.

However, the damage would have been worse without the levees and the upstream reservoirs that held back even more water. In just one district where eleven levees were breached, the Corps’ district commander noted that economists suggest that, had the levee system not been in place, costs would have risen by an additional $7.6 million. The Corps notes, however, that much still needs to be done to repair riverbanks and channel damage along the river’s course.