21-028 Walla Walla Levee Safety Team earns national honors

Walla Walla District, Corps of Engineers
Published May 10, 2021
Flooding on a levee near Milton Freewater, Oregon

Flooding on a levee near Milton Freewater, Oregon

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The Walla Walla District’s Levee Safety Team has won the 2020 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Levee Safety Team of the Year. The award, given by Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, recognizes the best levee safety team in the nation for that year. 

The Walla Walla District’s Levee Safety Team was recognized for their extraordinary efforts during the historic flooding across the Walla Walla Valley last February. During the flood event, the team responded with an all-hands approach, providing flood fighting expertise and technical assistance to seven municipalities, selflessly working 12-hour days, seven days a week throughout the month of February.

Most notably, the team rapidly responded to two full levee breaches during the storm. Over a seven-day period, the team oversaw the completion of approximately 700 feet of emergency repairs to one levee breach, restoring immediate flood protection to 55 nearby homes. Additionally, the team oversaw the completion of another 800 feet of emergency levee repair within a three-week construction window.

After the flood event and throughout the remainder of 2020, the team oversaw nearly $11 million of construction contracts to restore damaged levees to pre-flood conditions. This work was directly responsible for rehabilitating 12,000 feet of levee systems and constructing over 1,500 feet of levees. All restoration and constructions projects were completed before the 2021 flood season, a notable accomplishment.

The Walla Walla District’s Levee Safety Team is comprised of approximately 20 employees with specialties in geotechnical, hydraulic and hydrological engineering, as well as economics, administration, readiness, contracting, planning and construction support. The Levee Safety team primarily works with communities to inspect and identify technical deficiencies within their levee systems, to maintain their eligibility for the Corp’s levee rehabilitation program. The team also provides assistance in correcting identified deficiencies and restoring eligible levees after flood events.

For more information about the Walla Walla District’s Levee Safety Program please visit our website at: https://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Levee-Safety/


Release no. 21-036