Colombian crews have closed two-thirds of a large levee canal breach that opened Nov. 30 and spilled millions of gallons of Magdalena River water across vast sections of the country's coastal plain. The disastrous flooding, worsened by persistent rainfall, has killed several hundred people, left millions homeless and resulted in billions of dollars in property damage to the South American nation. Relief crews on Dec. 27 reported success in closing 178 meters of the the 258-m-wide breach in the Dique Canal, although they warn that the remaining 80 m is the most technically difficult part of the closure operation. Water
Despite a faltering international market, 2015 and the beginning of 2016 are proving to be strong years for U.S. contractors, with steady domestic growth and only moderate strain from workforce shortages.