States that border the Missouri River are forecast to experience an elevated flood risk this spring.
The National Weather Service says those conditions will only be made worse by already saturated soils and a lot of snow to melt.
The NWS issued its first Spring Flood Outlook last week, saying Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and eastern North and South Dakota all face an above-average flooding risk.
It’s not good news as many of those areas are still trying to recover from devastating flooding last year that damaged levees and cost farmers millions in crop losses.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says they are “very concerned at this point.”
An Associated Press report says even in places where the Corps was able to patch holes in some levees, the normal level of protection won’t be there because initial repairs haven’t been done yet to the full height of the levees.
Officials say levee repairs will likely take up to two years to complete. Part of the challenge is the water remained so high in some areas that officials couldn’t even assess the full scope of damage until just recently.
Many levees in Iowa and Nebraska have been patched but work hasn’t begun yet in Kansas and Missouri.