The Districts operate and maintain levees in compliance with federal standards to reduce flood risk for the areas behind the levees. This work includes vegetation management, levee inspections, and damage repair such as bank stabilization or replacement of rip rap (stone used to protect against erosion).
Levee and Conveyance System Mowing
Managing vegetation on the levees is an important part of ensuring optimal levee performance, particularly during high water and heavy rain events. MCDD uses an integrated approach to maintain the most useful vegetation on the levees which includes annual mowing of the levee systems and conveyance systems (sloughs and canals). Each year our mowing follows the same general schedule.
Early June Levee mowing at the MCDD office
Late June Start PEN 1 levee system
Early July Finish PEN 1, start PEN 2 levee system
Mid-July Start MCDD, mow levee system going west to east. Mow Broughton Beach before August.
August Hand trim of PEN 2 Bridgeton levee segment
Mid-August Finish MCDD, start SDIC levee system
Late August Start ditch mowing in SDIC working west through the 4 Districts
Early October Finish ditch mowing in PEN 1 & PEN 2
As local sponsors of a federally-authorized levee system, the Districts work closely with the United State Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to conduct routine and periodic inspections of our levees. These inspections help monitor the overall condition of the system, identify deficiencies, and determine eligibility for federal rehabilitation assistance (in accordance with P.L. 84-99), through the Rehabilitation and Inspection Program.
Our levees must be accredited by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for property owners in the Districts to remain eligible for FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, which enables homeowners, business owners and renters to access low-cost flood insurance. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012, FEMA and the USACE overhauled their safety standards for the nation’s levees, making making it more challenging and expensive for local levee managers, like our Districts, to maintain the levees and prove they meet federal standards.
In 2013, regional partners came together to form Levee Ready Columbia, a partnership of over twenty organizations committed to a collaborative approach to meeting safety standards and preparing our community for future floods. Visit www.leveereadycolumbia.org to learn more about our work with regional partners to ensure that people, places, and the environment are protected now and into the future.