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Hamburg rebuilds from devastating flooding by adding 8 ft. to levee

In 2019, the city of Hamburg, Iowa experienced devastating flooding. Homes got destroyed, businesses lost millions and the community had no water, sewage or gas. Now - the U.S. Corps of Engineers, Omaha District and the City of Hamburg have signed an agreement that would raise the levee by 8 ft.
Posted at 6:04 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 19:04:10-05

HAMBURG, Ia. (KMTV) - Two years later, Iowans still have vivid memories of the tremendous flooding that hit this tight-knit town. There is always fear in the minds and hearts of residents and business owners like Josh Hayes that history could repeat itself.

"It always puts the worry there that it could flood that bad again," Hayes said.

That's why Hamburg Public Works Director Alan Dovel says the city is working tirelessly to protect the community by adding eight feet to the levee. Dovel hopes it gives the city a line of protection from the Missouri River.

"Our levee is solid from the middle out of all dirt, so it's a much stronger levee than what is built out of the river bottoms," Dovel said. "It will be wider, it will be eight feet taller, it will be a monster compared to what we have now and it will stand I believe for a long time."

Hayes has one hope for this city: to maintain what it has worked for.

"They are building new businesses, just to preserve it, make it safe so we don't have to worry about that kind of thing anymore," Hayes said.

Dovel promises the levee will provide Hamburg with a firm foundation that's long overdue.

"That's kind of what's holding Hamburg back for the last two years. After this flood, we need to have some security back, and this levee will help bring security back to Hamburg," Dovel said.

The next step is to award a contract to a contractor to build the levee. The hope is to have it completed by July.