Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson

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Emerson: Army Commits to Levee Restoration

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) has received a letter from the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, establishing a timeline for efforts to rehabilitate the infrastructure destroyed in order to utilize the New Madrid Floodway.

Emerson said, "I very much appreciate the commitment of the Army to put back the levees that protect lives and livelihoods along the Mississippi River. As difficult as this situation continues to be for those who lived in the floodway or whose jobs depended on the land there, the statement of the Army gives us some hope that things can return to normal."

According to the Assistant Secretary's letter, "Restoring the floodway as soon as possible will be a top priority. Following operation of the floodway, it is estimated that it will take 45 to 60 days for the water to recede, if there is no additional rainfall. After the water has receded, it will take another 21 to 30 days for the land to dry out. At that point, an assessment will be made to determine the extent of restoration that will be required."

Assistant Secretary Darcy's letter follows an inquiry from Emerson and Missouri's two U.S. Senators asking for the levees to be rebuilt and the floodway restored.

"The sooner the Corps can start on levee restoration, the quicker people in Southern Missouri can get back to their homes and land, assess the damage there, go back to work, and put their lives back in order. This has been a deeply painful experience for thousands of people in the Eighth Congressional District, and I look upon the Corps' commitment as the first bit of good news we've gotten in quite some time," Emerson said.

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