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Levee breaks in north Jefferson City

Levee breaks in north Jefferson City

Crews respond quickly, plug hole; river back at 30 feet

June 27th, 2019 by Jeff Haldiman in Missouri News

In a cooperative effort between Jefferson City Public Works, MoDOT and Capital Sand Company, the levee breach at Turkey Creek near the Route W bridge was filled in a matter of hours Thursday. Capital Sand provided a heavy duty front end loader to move the boulders brought in by MoDOT and Jefferson City Public Works dump trucks used to fill in the break in the levee. After several loads of various sizes of rocks were emptied and moved in to form a barrier, officials believed they were in a good position to hold back the water until it begins to recede.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

A team effort Thursday afternoon sealed a break in a levee in North Jefferson City.

Around 2:30 p.m., part of the Capital View Levee on old Route W, near Cedar City Drive, broke.

The Capital View Levee is designed to hold water up to a 30-foot crest, Jefferson City Operations Division Director Britt Smith said. As of Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service in St. Louis showed the Missouri River was at 30.2 feet in Jefferson City.

Earlier this week, the forecast was for the river to crest at 29.5 feet.

Their current forecast calls for the river to stay at about 30 feet through sometime Saturday before it would begin to recede slowly, getting down to 28 feet by Sunday evening and 26 feet by Monday. That is based on the current forecast, which calls for little to no rainfall for the Jefferson City area through the start of next week.

"Where this road (old Route W) crosses is lower than the levee, so it's our normal practice to build a levee across the road," Smith said. "We always put millings across this road when the water gets up to 28 feet."

Smith said the millings they had placed previously was gone, so when the Missouri River came back up, they put a new temporary levee with asphalt millings.

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"It was holding well this morning, and I had checked it myself," Smith said. "At about 11:30 a.m., we got a call from officials from the Capital View Levee District, asking for more millings to shore the temporary levee because the water was still rising."

Around 2:30 p.m., Smith was at the site and saw the break occur.

"We watched it turn from about a foot wide to 20-30 feet wide in about a half an hour as the water began to wash in," he said.

After the break occurred, Smith and levee district officials began calling for material to be brought in to fill the hole.

"We had our city crews, crews from MoDOT, Ameren Missouri and Capital Sand bringing over equipment," Smith said. "Danny Baumgartner of the nearby Turkey Creek Golf Center brought in equipment and sandbags as well. They started hauling rock and trying to rebuild the levee as the water was coming through."

It wasn't until just before 5 p.m. the hole was filled.

"I've been cautiously optimistic a lot lately, and I'm cautiously optimistic now that this will hold," Smith said. "We've got the breech filled with large rocks, but the water can still seep through the rocks so we put in more asphalt millings to seal off the rocks so it will hold water."

Smith added there was no threat to either U.S. 54/63 from Thursday's break.

"This levee has also been under water for the last three weeks, so it's not in great shape," Smith said.