HAMBURG, IA (FOX 42) – It was one of the worst flooding in over a century. Many people who lived near the Missouri River in 2011 lost homes. The town of Hamburg, Iowa barely survived the flooding thanks to additions to the levee west of the town.
In the summer of 2011, the US Army Corp of Engineers and people in the town added eight feet of dirt to raise the levee. The levee held off floodwaters for four months. At times, the water was a few feet from the top of the levee, until the floodwaters resided.
The town wanted to keep the levee at its current height to help protect them from future flooding. But, government officials said it would cost 5.5 million dollars for inspections and additions.
Hamburg attempted to raise the money. They started a website asking for donations and even posted a video of the town dancing. The town's attempt fell short.
The city council voted to reduce the levee to the pre-flood height on March 22, 2013. They hired Hendrickson Transportation to complete the task by July 1st. The total cost of the reduction will cost $649,000. Part of the finances will be paid by the city, FEMA, and volunteer hours logged by the town in 2011.
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