Looking west, scrapers are dumping their load on the river side of L-550 levee as four dozers continually push to fill the hole.

As trucks line the access road to Hoot Owl Bend, scrapers are filling up to make the mile and a half trek back to the breach.

This is an overview of L-550. In the foreground, two excavators work to pile sand.

As the sand work on the L-550 comes to an end, dump trucks stockpile the top soil that will be put on to protect the base layers.

Scrapers line the makeshift highway as they make their way back to the river side of L-550 to dump the sand.

Once the flood waters receded and workers were able to gain access, the work on Atchison County ’s levees has been almost non-stop 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The work started on the northern levee near Watson and as they close each breach they keep moving south. Currently the breach near the mouth of Rock Creek in the L-550 levee has been closed, but only with sand at this point.

The big push is to get the L-550 levee completed by March 1, 2020. The reason for this is that is the date the Federal Crop Insurance opens and if the levee is not complete, the rate will be more than double for area farmers.

The size and scope of the area on the L-550 levee project is hard to fathom.  A minimum of 60 dump trucks, both side and rear dump, run a continuous loop from Watson, dumping both sand and dirt. Tractors pulling scrapers have their own loop running over a mile and a half along the levee to the breach site. It was difficult to tell, but you could count a minimum of 20 making the loop.

Once this break has been repaired there are still six breaches to complete between Rock Creek and Mill Creek.