Decade Anniversary: Community Remembers Birdland Levee Breach

DES MOINES, Iowa-- Ten years ago, Thursday a breach in the Birdland Levee sent the Des Moines River rushing into homes on the city's North side.

“It gives you a sense of awe when you realize how much that water can do," resident Allen Huffman said.

In this 2008 home video taken by Allen Huffman, the parking lot and Principle Park was nearly flooded.

A few miles north, the Birdland neighborhood got hit the hardest.

“The news broke about the Birdland and the collapse and all the water what happens if one of those barriers drop," Huffman said.

The City said why.

“It just wasn`t tall enough and the flood water crested just a little bit higher,” Public Works Director Jonathan Gano said.

Back in 2008, the view from above was rows of homes nearly submerged.

Like so many others, Huffman's friends lost everything.

“Basically, had to give up their house and gave up and moved that’s a life and it was a family house," Huffman said.

The city is working to make sure that never happens again.

“Generated locally though the storm water utility to do early advance funding to get some of these projects out of the door faster so we can deliver that flood protection sooner,” Public Works Director Jonathan Gano said.

We got our hands on the most recent 2017 Army Corps of Engineers Birdland Levee inspection.

out of three rankings: acceptable, unacceptable and minimally acceptable, the Birdland Levee received a minimally acceptable score.

The city says a motor in the storm water pump was out of tolerance and has since been replaced.