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Hamburg gets $6 million to raise levee

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Posted at 5:17 PM, Sep 18, 2019

HAMBURG, Iowa (KMTV) -- — As towns continue with clean up from spring flooding, Hamburg residents are celebrating a decision that may save their town.

The Iowa Flood Mitigation Board has awarded $6.3 million to Hamburg, IA to build their levee up 8 feet. Since March they've flooded twice, and many people have had to leave their homes.

Another $900,000 will fund demolition and buyouts for many houses on the southside of town.

In 2011, the Army Corps of Engineers told Hamburg to bring its levee down because it wasn't up to their specifications.

"It just means a lot to this community. That extra 8 feet of dirt on top of that levee is just a Godsend to have that," said Alan Dovel, Hamburg Public Works Director.

Major companies in town have lost millions and are putting millions in to stay. If they couldn't get the money to rebuild the levee up, the city worried the companies would leave and the town might've gone under.

"It gives us a future, without it we don't have a future," Hamburg City Clerk Sheryl Owen explained.

Dovel hopes they can start adding dirt to the levee this Fall so they can get in front of any flood threat in the Spring. He knows that may be difficult to do but says they will work on the levee by next Spring.

The board also awarded about $5 million in total to Mills County and Pacific Junction, IA for home buyouts and demolition.