Deteriorating Levees, Dams Endanger River Communities, Part II
Most communities are relatively prepared for flooding, but their infrastructure, like levees, that are meant to keep flood waters out are failing.
“I explained at the time that we did not have anywhere near the budget to have the engineering do a cost analysis on this thing and a project outline,” says Powell. “Sen. Begich asked me what I did have, and I told him I have a Corps of Engineering report with pictures, descriptions, everything, and he said send me that. I will work with that.”
That was two years ago.
According to Sen. Mark Begich's office, he did add the $1.2 million Aniak needs to “prevent loss of life and catastrophic damage” to a 2010 bill, but the money was later removed by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Back in Aniak, one group is taking matters into their own hands. “You’ve got to be proactive instead of reactive to prevent damage,” says Mid Yukon-Kuskokwim Water Conservation District Manager Herman Morgan.
Morgan is gathering evidence of the levee’s problems to make a stronger case to get it repaired. “You measure 10 feet, then after break up you have a point of measurement, how many feet a year the dike is eroding,” he says. “Then we can go to the city or the state and say, ‘look, our dike is washing away and this is the documentation.’”
The Corps has asked Congress to fund a flood risk management assessment for the entire state, but so far, that has not happened.