The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers breached the levee at Birds Point as part of the activation of the floodway on the night of May 2, 2011. The process to rebuild the levee to its original height is expected to conclude by the end of 2012.
The Army Corps of Engineers will restore the Birds Point-New Madrid levee to its original height by the end of the year. The Mississippi River Commission made the decision last week, according to Army Corps spokesperson Jim Pogue.
“Our level of confidence in our ability to finish this work this year is real high," Pogue said. "We’ve had good weather, good river stages and assuming that the contractor continues to make good progress and our other work in the confluence area goes well, we’ll be right on track.”
Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota releases 150,000 cubic feet per second of water June 14, 2011. Releases from the dam and others in the area were slowed to try to help with flooding of the Missouri River.
An increase in free space within reservoirs would not have made much of a difference in last year’s record flooding along the Missouri River, according to a report released today by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Jody Farhat, the Corps’ Chief Water Manager for the Missouri River, says a higher amount of free space would have only reduced last year’s flooding, not prevented it.
“Due to the tremendous volume of water, we still would have had very high record releases from the reservoirs," Farhat said. "We still would have had a significant flood event in the Missouri basin."