After what happened in some of the Gulf Coast cities, it is important that we pay very close attention to our own preparedness and infrastructure.
The City has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine what needs to be done to upgrade the flood wall that protects much of the downtown riverfront.
The Corps recently completed a study we funded with them about the effects of the theoretical “800 Year Flood.”
The study’s conclusion is that we need to spend about $15 million to replace flood gates and correct design flaws. With no improvements, a major breach could result in the loss of life and the destruction of billions of dollars of property.
We do not face imminent danger. According to the Corps, there is very little likelihood of a catastrophic breach. The people in City government who are working with the Corps say they are confident the current infrastructure would keep us safe from a repeat of the Midwest Flood of ’93.
But if we learned anything from the disaster in the Gulf Coast states, it is this: Take Nature seriously. We will continue to work with members of our Congressional delegation to get federal funding for the needed improvements. And we’ll put together the local match. Fifteen million dollars is nothing compared to the $100 billion Congress is spending in the Gulf Coast states.