Missouri Governor Jay Nixon

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has placed a federal levee in northwest Missouri back into its Rehabilitation and Inspection Program.  Gov. Jay Nixon’s Press Secretary Scott Holste says the move corrects a decision that happened earlier this year.

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A move that meant the Corps would have no financial responsibility to repair the barrier which was later destroyed by the massive amount of water flowing downstream.  While the reinstatement of L-497 is good news for Holt County, there’s still a battle for federal dollars.  According to Holste the Governor believes levee repairs should be a priority..

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It’s estimated levee L497 received $4 million in damage this year.

Governor Nixon’s office issued the following press release on the matter:

JEFFERSON CITY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today reinstated a Corps federal levee in northwest Missouri into its Rehabilitation and Inspection Program, a move that Gov. Jay Nixon had called on the Corps to make. The levee, L497, protects approximately 8,000 acres in Holt County, including the town of Forest City, homes, drinking water plants, wastewater treatment plants, a railroad, a grain elevator and highly productive farmland. The levee sustained an estimated $4 million in damage caused by unprecedented releases of water from Corps-operated reservoirs along the Missouri River this past spring and summer.

“This is a victory for the farmers and residents of Holt County, who suffered greatly from the Missouri River flooding this year,” Gov. Nixon said. “By reinstating L497, the Corps is rightfully taking the responsibility for making the repairs necessary to keep this vital safeguard working as it has done for more than 50 years.”

The move by the Corps of Engineers comes five days after Gov. Nixon sent a letter to Northwestern Division commander Brig. Gen. John McMahon, calling on the Corps to reinstate L497 into the Rehabilitation and Inspection Program and restore the levee to its pre-flood condition at no cost to the Forest City Levee District.

On May 23, the Corps determined L497 to be ineligible under the Rehabilitation and Inspection Program. Shortly thereafter, the Corps began releasing record amounts of water from the upstream reservoirs and continued those releases through the summer.