“Minimally Acceptable” Levees Stand in the Way of Spring Flooding

Brian Kelly/Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  As KMOX News first reported Thursday, forecasters are predicting moderate to major flooding along the Mississippi River this spring.

That news comes just as the Corps of Engineers has completed inspecting the region’s Mississippi River levees.

Inspectors found that all of the region’s levees are “minimally acceptable”.

“That means our contention is typically that the system will perform during the next flood event,” said Jamie McVicker, Levee Safety Program Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council Executive Les Sterman says most of the nation’s levees are listed as minimally acceptable.

So while in his opinion FEMA continues to act like the east-side levees don’t exist, Sterman agrees with the Corps that they’re more than sufficient.

“Either these levees will function or they won’t,” Sterman told KMOX News upon this week’s release of the Spring Flood Outlook.  “We believe they will function as they have over their entire life-span.  There’s never been a structural failure.”

The National Weather Service believes that above-average snowfall in Minnesota and other northern states will mean an increased risk of flooding downstream during the spring snow-melt.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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