THURMAN, Iowa — The forecast is for floodwaters to rise again in southwest Iowa. Crews are working at a brisk pace to repair the Pleasant Valley levee before the waters rise again. This levee along the Missouri River has three places where there were breaches.
“We have 35 scrapers working at a time and they’re scraping sand off farmers’ fields and bring it back up to do the berms,” said John Askew, Board Member for the Pleasant Valley Levee. He is working with crews to represent landowners, watching this work to try to prevent more high water from hitting homes and farm fields again.
While there is much importance on farm fields and homes in the area, that’s not the number one mission of the levee repair.
“They’re building these levees back to keep I-29 open and the Burlington Northern Rail Line open,” said Askew. “That’s a cost-benefit. It’s commerce that comes from around the world, it’s going through this area, it’s so important not only for us here, but for the state, that we keep our lines of transportation open.”
The plan is to keep everyone dry through the coming flood, but this repair is considered only temporary. The fix cost around $20 million.
“I really have to commend the governor and our state legislators for backing us,” said Askew. “Also Congresswoman Cindy Axne has been tremendous help in getting fixes for this and helping communicate with the Corps, along with our two senators. Wasn’t for them all pulling together, we wouldn’t of gotten this fixed.”
The hope is this levee will be fixed before any flooding takes place this year.