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Muddy Waters Inundate Iowa Town
Credit: NASA/Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon

In mid-July 2011, more than a month after the Missouri River broke through two levees and flooded fields near Hamburg, Iowa, muddy water lingered near the city. Hamburg residents were relieved, however, that a newly built levee had spared the town from flooding.

On July 17, 2011, the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this natural-color image. Compared to an image acquired on June 24, flood waters have apparently receded, especially around Interstate 29 and the city of Hamburg. Sediment-choked water nevertheless lingers on large swaths of land.

On July 13, 2011, KETV of Omaha, Nebraska , reported that a newly built, 2-mile levee designed to protect Hamburg already exceeded federal standards. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers handed control of the levee over to city officials on July 12. In the end, the levee was expected to cost the Army Corps $6 million, and the city of Hamburg about $800,000.

On July 18, 2011, the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service reported moderate flooding along the Missouri River not far from Hamburg, Iowa. In the northwest, the river reached 24.37 feet (7.43 meters) at Nebraska City. In the southeast, the river reached 38.98 feet (11.88 meters) at Brownville, Nebraska.