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Metro East levee fix estimated at $160 to $170 million

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By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – A group scrambling to upgrade Mississippi River levees in the Metro East now estimates repairs at $160 million to $170 million.

The Southwestern Illinois Flood Protection District Council says that's enough to make barriers capable of handling FEMA's 100-year flood threshold. Such a flood has a 1 percent chance of happening any given year.

New FEMA floodplain maps expected next year could show the levees as useless, meaning mandatory insurance and higher rates for thousands of home and business owners.

The Army Corps of Engineers says the levees were built to a 500-year standard. But the Corps says returning them to that level of protection could cost up to a $500 million.

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