Sugar Creek & Mississippi River Levee Improvements
Project Executive Summary
As a result of severe flooding in the 1960's the City of East Moline constructed levees along the Mississippi River and a local tributary, Sugar Creek. These levees have served as the primary flood protection measure for the older (and original) region of the City. These levees have protected residences and businesses alike for over 30 years, but their age combined with lack of funding has resulted in their deterioration.
To ensure the City of East Moline is compliant with federal requirements the levees are inspected annually by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. For several years, their reports have indicated that the overall condition of our levee system has dropped to "Minimally Acceptable". This rating is a major concern for East Moline because a levee project in "Good" standing remains eligible for consideration of repair assistance under PL 84-99 should it become damaged during a flood event. A "Minimally Acceptable" rating could easily slip to "Unacceptable" and therefore eliminate East Moline from federal financial assistance. Without properly functioning levees for protection, our citizenry is at risk for levee failure and severe flood damage.
In addition to the Corps' "minimally acceptable" rating, the levees also do not meet the current requirements for certification to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The levee system must be brought to a "certifiable" level by November of 2009, or a portion of the City risks being re-included into the 100-year flood plain. This would necessitate the purchase of costly flood insurance for home owners and businesses who can ill-afford to pay for it in these economic times.
Key work items include replacement of deteriorated storm sewer pipes through the levees, replacement of backflow devices on these pipes, bank stabilization in some areas, filling of rodent burrows, dredging of accumulated silt and debris in Sugar Creek that has reduced pump storage capacity, and other related construction. Additionally, the stormwater pumps at the Sugar Creek Pumping Station are being provided back-up power so that they will continue to operate normally even in the event of a power outage.
Work has started on the levee improvements as of May 5, 2009. The estimated cost of the work is approximately $1.7 Million.