"The 2011 Missouri River Flood: Public Works, Sustaining Emergency Operations"

2012 Association of State Floodplain Managers Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX
May 23, 2012
By Barry Meyers, PE

During the 2011 Missouri Flood, the city of Council Bluffs was thrust into the emergency flood fight with little opportunity to prepare. In a short period of time, the river rose to well above flood level to historic levels. The city mobilized its forces to combat the numerous problems that arose but found it needed experienced geotechnical levee design engineers to provide real-time assessment of potential levee safety issues. Since the city did not employ geotechnical engineers, HDR immediately mobilized a team from around the country to assist the city. The levee engineers became an extension of the city staff available "24/7" working with management in the operations center, field assessment teams, repair teams, the Corps of Engineers and Iowa National Guard. The city's emergency response team coupled with the levee engineers provided the necessary capabilities to deal with the challenges that arose due to the prolonged stress on the levee system.