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U.S.A.: Army Corps cracks down on flunking levees

Posted By Kaveh in Planning and Management

More than 100 levees in 16 states flunked maintenance inspections in the last two years and are so neglected that they could fail to stem a major flood, records from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers show.

The 114 levees received "unacceptable" maintenance ratings in corps inspections, meaning their deficiencies are so severe that it can be "reasonably foreseen" that they will not perform properly in a major flood, according to the records, which were requested by USA TODAY. As a result, the corps is advising state and local levee authorities that the levees no longer qualify for federal rehabilitation aid if damaged by floodwaters.

People who rely on the levees should "be aware that there is reason for concern," says Tammy Conforti, head of the corps' levee safety program.

The corps built most of the levees and turned them over to state and local governments, which were supposed to maintain them. Some of the neglected levees protect urban, residential areas, such as the Arcade Creek levee in Sacramento; others guard rural or agricultural land. -

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