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Corps wants levee upgrades in St. Louis

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By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis – The 700 miles of flood protection along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers will be the topic of a "levee summit" in St. Louis on Monday.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says some levees need repairs to bring them back up to the protection levels for which they were designed.

The Corps' Colonel Lewis Setliff said many of the levees surrounding the St. Louis metro area survived the flood of 1993 only because of last minute emergency measures.

Setliff said in addition to aging floodwalls, some levees are at risk from water seeping underneath and compromising the structure above.

"The levees along the Mississippi River are quite old, and we have also progressed science to the point that we are able to detect how water moves under these levees a lot better than we could 30-40 years ago," Setliff said.

The 1993 flood was a 300-year flood event. The Army Corps says most of the levees protecting urban areas were originally designed to withstand a 500-year flood event.

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