Corps working to rebuild "interim" levee - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Corps working to rebuild "interim" levee


They're making progress along the Birds Point New Madrid Floodway, but it hasn't come without obstacles.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to tackle an enormous project on a tight budget. 

It's been almost four months since the historic blast that sent river water pouring into the floodway.

It's far from the way it was, but today things look much different.

"We've made a lot of progress so far," said David Montgomery-U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

At the initial blasting point they're pumping water out of large holes that formed from the massive amount of water that rushed in. Crews are then filling up the holes with sand, then they'll bring in a layer of dirt.

"We operate about 75 trucks hauling sand," said Montgomery. 

Most of the trucks you'll see out on the re-building sites aren't owned by the government. They're locals, like Randal Hammon from business Gaines B Beck out of Sikeston.

"I've been out here about three days," said Hammon. He's happy to have the work in a tough economy, and glad to see the Corps keeping it local.

"That's what they should do," said Hammon. 

Money is tight, that's why the Corps is currently only building the levee up to a level to protect from a stage of 51 feet on the Cairo gage. "That's a safe level that would sustain a good high water," said Montgomery. 

If they get the funding, the Corps says workers will raise the levee back to where it was.

Work is also being done at the lower crevasse site near New Madrid as crews work to even out the dirt and rebuild.

In the middle, near Dorena, there's a standstill. The Corps calls it an environmental set-back.

It's a problem they hope to have resolved soon.

For the overall project, the Corps doesn't expect any additional obstacles assuming mother nature cooperates.

"We're doing our best," said Montgomery. 

The Corps hopes to have the work on the interim levee system complete by the end of November.

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