US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District

District Projects

Repairs to Levee Systems/Flood Control Projects - Policy

Published March 11, 2019

Chief, Emergency Management Division
(309) 794-5230

Entire District

Corps of Engineers policy regarding repairs to levee systems and flood control projects damaged by floods is as follows:

  1. Federally constructed, locally maintained flood control systems active in the Public Law 84-99 program will be rehabilitated to pre disaster condition by the Corps of Engineers at 100 percent federal cost. Prospective repairs require a letter of request from sponsor and funding by Congress.
  2. Non-federally constructed, locally maintained systems, active in the Public Law 84-99 program, will be repaired by the Corps of Engineers to pre disaster condition at 80 percent federal/20 percent local cost share. Prospective repairs require a letter of request from sponsor and funding by Congress.
  3. Federally constructed or enhanced, locally maintained systems AND non-federally constructed or enhanced, locally maintained systems not active in the Public Law 84-99 program are not eligible for repairs by the Corps of Engineers.
  4. Active status in the Rehabilitation and Inspection program is determined by Continuing Eligibility Inspection ratings.

NOTE: Repairs can only be made to pre-disaster conditions. Public Law 84-99 funds are not authorized for improvements or enhancements.

Repair Authorization under PL 84-99 Program (Public Law 84-99; Flood and Coastal Storm Emergencies): Levee systems and/or flood control projects are authorized for repairs, if damaged by a flood event, when the levee system is active in the Corps' PL 84-99 program. To be included in the PL 84-99 program, a levee system or flood control project must be routinely inspected by the Corps of Engineers and found to meet Corps of Engineers construction standards and are maintained in a fashion that does not deter from its structural integrity.


The Upper Mississippi River watershed is defined as the drainage area above Cairo, Illinois, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers exclusive of the Missouri River Basin, and encompasses approximately 185,000 square miles. It includes the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri and covers approximately 1,200 miles of navigable river on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers. The UMR watershed and associated environments have a rich record of human history spanning more than 12,000 years and is one of the most archeologically and historically significant regions in the country. In modern times, the UMR has assumed a significant role in the development and prosperity of the Midwestern economy and way of life. The river is both a source of prosperity and challenges. The waters of the UMR create a nationally significant ecosystem and a nationally significant transportation system but also bring flooding. When the levees and reservoirs of the UMR were built, by both federal and non-federal resources, they were not constructed in accordance with any overall systemic strategy or a consistent design basis. These facilities have a wide variety of structural integrity, and provide varying levels of flood risk reduction for similar land uses. The majority of the structures were federally constructed or improved. Most were planned, designed and built incrementally rather than systemically, under various authorities resulting in differing levels of risk

reduction. Additionally, in accordance with the project authorizations, these structures are operated and maintained by the local sponsor. The average age of the agriculture systems on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers is 75 years old.


The risks, due to a lack of regional flood risk management strategy, remain high and the Flood of 1993 provided a vivid demonstration of the vulnerabilities from a lack of regional strategy. Forty-seven deaths were attributed to the Flood of 1993 as well as nearly $15 billion of damage. The social disruption was beyond measure, with more than 70,000 homes damaged or destroyed and approximately 74,000 people evacuated. The Corps is seeking to collaboratively work with other Federal agencies, state agencies, local communities and stakeholders to develop a Regional Flood Risk Management (RFRM) strategy. A collaborative, integrated, holistic and sustainable flood risk management strategy is needed to protect the public and reduce the flood damages to the Nation. A resilient Upper Mississippi River (UMR) FRM system will protect lives and property, secure our Nation by reducing risk from disaster and reduce the potential of future Federal, State and local expenditures.

The first step in developing a regional flood risk management strategy for the UMR is to develop a hydraulic model in order to understand and evaluate the impacts of levee and floodplain alterations. The hydraulic model is a key "tool" and would be a shared model used by Federal and states agencies to replace multiple existing models currently is use to more effectively and consistently manage the floodplains. The first phase started in FY16 with a $500,000 reprogramming, which will allow the development of a hydraulic model for a 320 mile segment stretching from Keokuk, IA (River Mile 364) to Thebes, IL (River Mile 44). Work initiated in August 2016 and expected to be complete by September 2017. Additional phases of work are planned which will model the UMR and Illinois River and will require additional funding.


RFRM is a joint effort of the Rock Island, St. Louis and St. Paul Districts in collaboration with federal, state and local agencies and stakeholders. It works with available information and integrating with work by others and other programs to the extent possible.

Gregory Drainage District, East Peoria Drainage and Levee District, Clinton, IA, Oakford Special Drainage District, Big Lake Drainage and Levee District, and Sanitary District of Beardstown will be repaired to pre-disaster conditions under PL 84-99 Authority.  Completion of these projects is expected in CY19.  Additionally, there are eight projects in the early stages of determining repair eligibility.  Once repair eligibility is determined and eligible projects are approved, completion is expected in CY19.

SI - Special Interest
Public Law 84-99

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost  TBD 
Estimated Non-Federal Cost  N/A 
Estimated Total Project Cost  TBD 
Allocations Prior to FY 2019  $5,303,000
FY 2019 Allocation     $1,580,000
FY 2019 Total Capability  TBD


Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2019:
Project information reports for damages incurred during October 2018 flooding are under development for three levee districts.  Damage assessments for five levee districts are pending snow melt so that damages can be verified. Construction contracts have be issued for repair of the Gregory Drainage District, East Peoria Drainage and Levee District, Clinton, IA.  With Oakford Special Drainage District, Big Lake Drainage and Levee District, and Beardstown Sanitary District scheduled for award in FY19.