Monday, June 06, 2011

When the levee breaks

We're days and days away from the highest water on the Missouri River, and already the levee near Hamburg, Iowa, has given way.

Does this
Omaha World-Herald dispatch sound familiar at all, Brownie?

Two levee breaches just south of Hamburg, Iowa, prompted authorities in Fremont County to issue a mandatory evacuation order Sunday for residents in southern Hamburg.

The Fremont County Emergency Management Office said about 240 residents — roughly 20 percent of the town — were ordered out of their homes following the downstream levee breach in Missouri's Atchison County.

Record outflows from upstream reservoirs have swollen the Missouri River this year, adding considerable pressure to a vast system of levees erected along the river's banks.

Early assessments determined the second partial breach near Hamburg and the damaged areas are likely to fully breach as water levels continue to rise.

As a temporary measure to reinforce the levee to delay a full breach, the Iowa National Guard on Sunday was using a Black Hawk helicopter to drop 1,000-pound sandbags onto the affected part of the levee. Authorities had removed heavy equipment and workers from the area because of concerns about the levee's strength.

The situation in southwest Iowa reflects part of authorities' biggest concerns. Although the stream of river water leaking from the levee into nearby fields was minimal Sunday, authorities worry that part of a community's infrastructure could be inundated.

EVENTS OF the past six years may have caused me to become somewhat cynical, but I do believe I have figured out the government's approach to flood control across these United States:

President ___________ came down in a ___________

With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand

The president say, ''Little fat man isn't it a shame

What the river has done to this poor cracker's land."
Heck of a job.

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