Small dams rebuilt, original designs flawed

Thursday, October 14, 2010

CURTIS, Nebraska -- Of two small flood control structures that were build with the wrong type of soil, one has been rebuilt and a second is in the process of being rebuilt, according to a Natural Resource Conservation Service official.

The official, Ben Hardin of the NRCS, told the Middle Republican Natural Resources District board of directors at its regular meeting Tuesday night that repair work on the flood control structure North of Maywood (80A) is now complete and work on control structure 32A on the Hayes-Hitchcock County line North of Culbertson is well underway.

The original structure has been taken down to grade level in preparation for rebuilding the original structure, he said.

Both structures suffered from initial design flaws due to dispersive soils. The 32A structure was damaged during the heavy 2008 spring rains. Soil settlement problems on those dams have had extensive geologic investigation during this summer in hopes of determining why the problems occurred. The information found during these investigations will be used to determine if other structures require repair and the process to be used if that repair is needed. The District owns and maintains 34 flood control structures throughout the district.

Hardin also reported on staff changes with the NRCS. Jason Kennedy is now the District Conservationist and that office is now in McCook. Kort Kemp is the new Resource Conservationist in the Curtis Field Office and Kevin Lamken is the new Civil Engineer in the Curtis Field Office. Andy Houser is the new Middle Republican NRD Farm Bill Biologist and is stationed in the McCook Office but covers all four counties.

A public hearing was scheduled to hear a variance request from Dave Koetter of McCook who is requesting certified acres, but Koetter did not attend the hearing. The board voted to close the hearing and reopen it during the November Board Meeting.

Roger Lawson, Information and Education Specialist, reported on the success of Tuesday's South West Area Land Judging Competition for FFA high school students. Thirteen schools and more than 250 students met in Curtis to compete in this soils based competition. Arapahoe FFA received a plaque and Medicine Valley FFA entered five teams one of which received a blue ribbon.

More information on the MRNRD is available at

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