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Army Corps: Breached Alton Levee ‘Held The Way It Was Supposed To’

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WEST ALTON, Mo. (KMOX) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is out with a report this morning on what caused the levee break that flooded West Alton.

When the Mississippi River started pouring into farm fields in West Alton on June 4, there was frantic packing to get out before houses went under. Now, Matthew Hunn, the Flood Risk Project Manager with the Corps, says the levee did its job.

“The levee held the way it was supposed to be,” he said. “It held up to its level of protection and then once it overtopped then the soil couldn’t handle the erosive forces of the water.”

Hunn says the section that broke had last been inspected in November and looked fine. As for sandbagging, Hunn says there were too many threatened sections of the West Alton levee to sandbag them all.

“As far as trying to prevent that in the future, what we need to do is continue to monitor and take care of the levee, make sure the people and the community behind it understand that risk and are prepared to evacuate if they need to,” he said.

He adds that the levee wall will be rebuilt to the same level of protection; no higher, no lower.

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