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Better Flood Protection in the Works for Muscatine

the Muscatine Island Levee
Army Corps of Engineers
the Muscatine Island Levee

Residents and businesses in Muscatine may soon learn if they'll be able to raise the levee protecting them from flooding by the Mississippi River. The Army Corps of Engineers is considering a request from the Muscatine Island Levee Stakeholder Group.

Group leader Rich Dwyer says the levee is 14 miles long and protects 30,000 acres. It's mostly farmland, but 4,000 people work in the area.

"80 per cent of the top ten crests that have ever occurred here in Muscatine have occurred since the year 2,000. So we're seeing more and more events, we're seeing them around the country, we're seeing them around the world. There's more and more environmental issues popping up. So when there's more and more events we want to be prepared."

It would be too expensive to raise all of the levee, so the current proposal is to raise the lowest section, and use special materials at another section to "harden" the levee.

"When you're working with the levees you're going to impact levees up and down the river on both sides. And that's one of the things that they're very concerned with our project that if we're doing anything with the levee they don't want us to impact our neighbors."

The levee protects Muscatine's water treatment plant, Muscatine Power and Water, the village of Fruitland, and the airport, plus many businesses.

If approved by the Corps of Engineers, Dwyer thinks construction could start this fall with completion in the summer of next year (2024).