In response to FEMA’s announced intent to de-accredit the 74-mile levee system protecting the St. Louis Metro East region, the counties of Madison, Monroe and St. Clair, Illinois, took decisive action. Regional leaders called on Husch Blackwell to draft legislation creating the Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council and to develop a project financing mechanism. More than $150 million has been generated and used to fund local improvements necessary for levee certification and to pay the nonfederal share of the work being done in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). We coordinated the project with numerous federal and state agencies, including the USACE, FEMA and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In addition, the firm led a team in acquiring more than 120 parcels of land needed for the levee improvements and continues to assist the council with multiple construction projects. Total estimated project cost is $350 million.
Levee system improvements will maintain FEMA accreditation on flood maps and help protect lives, property and economic vitality in the St. Louis Metro East region.