About Levees

trail on top of levee system in Council Bluffs


A levee is an embankment generally constructed close to the banks of a stream or river; intended to reduce the risk of flooding for the neighboring properties.

The levees in Council Bluffs were originally designed and constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the risk of flooding from the Missouri River to the City. Without the levees, approximately 64% of the incorporated city limits would be at greater risk of flooding.

Approximate levee length (in miles)

Population within leveed area

Residential buildings within the leveed area


The map below shows the leveed area of Council Bluffs.


Even after all preventative flood measures have been taken, there is still a risk of flooding.

With all of the tools individuals and government agencies use to reduce flood risk, risk cannot be eliminated completely. This is known as Residual Risk.

The Residual Risk graphic has been designed to help you understand the collective steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of flooding. Tools range from zoning regulations to structural flood control projects such as levees.

graphic showing residual risk and the positive effects of flood reduction efforts

Levee Maintenance

Like other important investments, such as homes and cars, levees require continued maintenance in order to ensure their performance and longevity. At over 60 years old, the City’s levees require continued maintenance as well as rehabilitation of aged components. Browse below to view photos of the ongoing levee maintenance and rehabilitation projects in Council Bluffs.


National Levee Database
Flood Smart
Levee Simulator
Cost of Flooding Tool
"So You Live Behind a Levee" Brochure
Flood Risk Scenario Tool