HOMER, Neb. — Dakota County farmers along Pigeon Creek hope long-awaited dredging work will reduce the future risk of flooding.

Work began last week on a nearly $200,000 project to dredge about seven miles of the creek from U.S. Highway 77 near Homer to a bridge east of Hubbard, the Sioux City Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2dtbTNf ).

“It was a project that really needed to be done, but there were never the resources available for it,” said John Winkler, general manager of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District.

The project will dredge silt in the creek that has built up over the past 30 to 40 years and is designed to increase the creek’s capacity to carry water after heavy rainfalls.

According to Winkler, funding for the Pigeon Creek project was transferred from an Omaha-area project.

In June 2014, large amounts of rain caused ridges along the creek to break and hundreds of acres of farmland to flood.

“It doesn’t take a very large rainfall to fill that ditch up. If they dig it out, it should handle a lot more water without breaching. It’s been needed for a long time,” said Bryce Andersen, a Dakota City farmer.

Winkler said dredging will continue until the weather becomes too cold. The project could continue into 2017.

Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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