Kansas City, Mo. – The council made up of Kansas City's six major industrial districts is warning that levees holding back rivers are in precarious condition. And money to do restoration work is barely being provided.
Kansas City's lowest lying areas are the industry districts, Central and Northeast Industrial, Dotson, Blue Valley, Swope and Bi State Turkey Creek. There are sixty miles of levees between 30 and more than 50 years old.
President of the city's industrial council Tom Roberts says flood walls and levees protect more than $16 billion in assets.
"This project is moving too slowly and needs to be significantly sped up before we have a disaster," Roberts said. "The time to act is now. And until our community leaders increase the importance of this project, we'll continue to be at risk. This is a known threat. And we must act. This is our chance to avoid a Katrina event."
Roberts says it will take more than $280 million to fix levees and flood walls. The Kansas City Council's five-year capital improvements plan puts two million dollars into it. Nothing after that.
Kansas City has the third most extensive flood levee system in the country, smaller only to New Orleans and Sacramento. Roberts offers to help the city lobby the federal government for funds.