The Nebraska National Guard plans to rebuild its Camp Ashland training site by fortifying its buildings and raising them on stilts after recent flooding caused extensive damage to the facility.

The Guard is pursuing a more than $62 million project to protect the 1,184-acre (479-hectare) facility on the Platte River from future flooding, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The camp has been working to repair damage from floodwaters that filled classrooms and barracks, standing roughly 5 feet (1.5 meters) deep after the river knocked down a levee last month. Up to 3 feet (1 meter) of sand covered large parts of the camp after the floodwaters receded.

The Nebraska National Guard has submitted a bill for the reconstruction of the flood-prone Camp Ashland training site on the Platte River, in Ashland, Neb. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
The Nebraska National Guard has submitted a bill for the reconstruction of the flood-prone Camp Ashland training site on the Platte River, in Ashland, Neb. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

“We had historic damage, a breach of a levee that’s never broken before,” said Col. Shane Martin, a construction and facilities management officer for the Guard. “It was shocking, truly devastating when you got on the ground.”

Now, the National Guard is looking to create stronger defenses at the training site to protect the camp from future floods.

The plans call for putting seven new buildings on stilt pilings at least 7 feet (2 meters) off the ground.

In this April 24, 2019, photo Shane M. Martin, a construction and facilities management officer and Major Scott Ingalsbe, State Public Affairs Officer both with the Nebraska Army National Guard stand close by the erosion caused by the flood along the Platte River  in Ashland, Neb. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
In this April 24, 2019, photo Shane M. Martin, a construction and facilities management officer and Major Scott Ingalsbe, State Public Affairs Officer both with the Nebraska Army National Guard stand close by the erosion caused by the flood along the Platte River in Ashland, Neb. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

“We want to raise this above the flood, so nothing like this ever happens again,” he said.

The Guard also wants to extend a concrete bulkhead that runs inside the river’s levee. Other costs included in the plan would repair buildings, roads and trails, as well as replace furniture and equipment.

Martin said the Guard is pursuing stilts because the flooding last month topped floodgates and submerged electrical wiring that had been installed 4 feet (1.2 meters) high as a prevention method after a 2015 flood.

The Nebraska National Guard has submitted a bill for the reconstruction of the flood-prone Camp Ashland training site on the Platte River, in Ashland, Neb. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
The Nebraska National Guard has submitted a bill for the reconstruction of the flood-prone Camp Ashland training site on the Platte River, in Ashland, Neb. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

“We have to plan for the worst of the worst,” he said.

Officials requested funding from the National Guard Bureau in Virginia. The money would come from federal tax dollars, if approved. It’s unclear when Nebraska will receive a response.

___

In this April 24, 2019, photo a caution sign is displayed near a damaged floor caused by recent flooding at Memorial Hall in Ashland, Neb. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
In this April 24, 2019, photo a caution sign is displayed near a damaged floor caused by recent flooding at Memorial Hall in Ashland, Neb. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
The Nebraska National Guard has submitted a bill for the reconstruction of the flood-prone Camp Ashland training site on the Platte River, in Ashland, Neb. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
The Nebraska National Guard has submitted a bill for the reconstruction of the flood-prone Camp Ashland training site on the Platte River, in Ashland, Neb. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
The Nebraska National Guard has submitted a bill for the reconstruction of the flood-prone Camp Ashland training site on the Platte River, in Ashland, Nebraska. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
The Nebraska National Guard has submitted a bill for the reconstruction of the flood-prone Camp Ashland training site on the Platte River, in Ashland, Nebraska. (Brendan Sullivan/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

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