“We have serious concerns about how the levees are performing,” especially after the stress from 2010 flooding, he says.
“We have observed many problems with them — animal holes, boiling, seepage," McMahon says. "We’re very concerned. “[Levees] are acting as dams, and they are not designed to be dams, they are designed to be levees.”
“The longer we prolong high levels of water on them, the greater risk of them failing.”
Corps experts also need to get into the dams — which all have held and released record amounts of water — for evaluations and repairs, which McMahon wants started by Dec. 1.
States, cities and counties, with highways, roads and bridges under water since mid-June, will also need to assess and repair those.
Elected officials in the eight-state Missouri Basin have been critical of the Corps, and the governors will meet with Corps officials Aug. 19 in Omaha.
In Iowa, where 148,565 acres are flooded, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) “believes it’s vitally important to keep our priority focus’’ on the flood fight, spokesman Tim Albrecht says.
“One of the goals [of the Aug. 19 meeting] will be to increase our focus on flood management,” he says.
“Gov. Branstad believes a review of the management of the Missouri River is absolutely critical to the long-term future of the state.”