Pocatello recently had the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers take a closer look into Pocatello's Levee systems and we find out that the city still has some more work to do. Summer Joy has more.
The Portneuf River Flood Reduction Project, which includes systems one through five, received an overall rating of "unacceptable". That rating means Pocatello's levees may not provide the designed level of flood reduction and the city would not be able to apply for federal rehabilitation assistance if the levee gets damaged in a flood or storm event.
“The flood protection that it provides is for personal property and safety of the public living in the low line areas in Pocatello,” said Randy Ghezzi, the Pocatello Street Operations Superintendent.
Unwanted vegetation is one of the primary reasons why these five levee systems were labeled unacceptable. Other issues include: hydraulic capacity, animal burrows, and minor erosion. On bannock highway near the Sandtrap you can see the difference. On one side the large vegetation is cleared and the other still has the big trees and bushes.
Ghezzi says they have been working on the Levees and will continue to do so until they are titled acceptable. He also mentioned that they are working with FEMA on this and FEMA sent them a letter of certification approval on these Levees.
“The levee is certified to handle the 100 year one percent chance storm and that’s your run off snow and ice melt and the rain storms,” added Ghezzi.
If you have a home near one of the Levees, Ghezzi encourages you to be careful and not plant too close to the levee to help keep it clear.
“We do have a city adopted maintence plan on the levee. We are following that and doing the best we can,” said Ghezzi.
There will be an open town hall meeting for the public to get information and ask questions. It's on February 25, starting at 6 pm at city hall.