Two long segments of I-29 remain closed in western Iowa, both north and south of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area, due to severe flood damage from earlier this spring. The Missouri River drains almost all of the Northern Plains outside of the Red River watershed and most of this region had very heavy snow in the late winter and very heavy rain at the time of spring snow melt. Many earthen levees failed or were over-topped, causing widespread, severe flood damage.
The total runoff for the upper basin was 18.7 million acre feet, which is the highest March-April runoff since record-keeping began in 1898, exceeding the previous record of 15.9 million acre feet, which occurred in 1952. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, which manages the Missouri River, is tasked with balancing the needs of shipping, recreation, along with public safety and property. But the fact is that some floods simply exceed the capacity of a river system no matter how that system is managed.