COUNCIL BLUFFS – Levee and drainage district repairs are underway in the northwest portion of the county that has been inundated with floodwaters since early March. River levels and conditions have improved to the point where damaged levees and drainage district protection structures can now begin to be assessed and emergency temporary repairs made.

“This is a big step in our collective road to recovery,” commented Doug Reed, director of emergency management for Pottawattamie County. Work has begun on several breach and damage locations that will help stem the inflow of water and allow other areas to drain. It will still be some time before other areas can be accessed but progress is being made in hopes that property and landowners can start realizing some long awaited relief. Reed was joined today in a survey of the area by Iowa Senator Tom Shipley, Tim Wichman – Chairman of the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors, Joyce Flinn — Director of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, John Benson – Chief of Staff for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and Katie Waters – Public Assistance Bureau Chief from Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The H&P Drainage District has made temporary repairs to the banks of the Boyer River and the Honey Creek Levee/Drainage District began work today in multiple locations along the Honey Creek Drainage Ditch and the Honey Creek North Levee. Engineers for the Vanman Levee District were to begin assessing the major levee breaches at Desoto Bend Wildlife Refuge this week in order to get estimates and solicit contractors to construct temporary emergency repairs at two priority areas of damage on the Vanman Levee. Repairs to portions of the Pigeon Creek Drainage District have been assessed with repairs started. Other areas along the Sac Drainage District and areas of the Pigeon Creek Levee are still inundated with floodwaters and still need to be assessed as soon as conditions allow.

Reed commented that, “although there is a lot of work to get done, progress is being made and each small project completion will have an impact in improving the conditions within the region. The temporary repairs being made are critical to stop the free flow of water throughout the region until the river levels drop and ground conditions improve to a point where detailed plans and more equipment can be employed to make permanent repairs in the overall system.”

Updates in progress will be made at the county flood website which can be found on the emergency management department page at www.pottcounty-ia.gov.