The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partnered with Holt County this week on the emergency repair of a levee that was in danger of failing and flooding the town of Fortesque.
Levee 14 along Little Tarkio Creek had withstood the initial flooding caused when numerous levees along the Missouri River breeched in mid-March. However, the prolonged flooding in the two months since had weakened the levee to the point that it was in danger of failing. NRCS staff visited the site with Holt County representatives on June 13 and within hours completed a damage assessment, surveys and plans to place 3,500 cubic yards of rock rip rap along the threatened levee that provides flood protection to Fortesque. In peril was $2 million worth of homes, businesses and infrastructure, including 15 homes, a grain elevator, an anhydrous storage depot, private grain storage facilities and roads. Work was completed on Thursday, June 20.
NRCS will pay 75 percent of the $180,000 project, and Holt County will pay 25 percent.
“I’m pleased that NRCS was able to respond so quickly and protect the community of Fortesque,” State Conservationist J.R. Flores said. “Our Emergency Watershed Protection Program gives us some freedom to move at a quicker pace. This is a great example of a federal program, a dedicated staff and good partnership with local sources coming together to help people in need.”