Regional Levee Safety Manager retires with 31 years of federal service

Published Sept. 10, 2013

Vicksburg, Miss., September 9, 2013 - The man responsible for the safety of federally managed levees running the entire length of the Mississippi River, Pete Montalbano, retired recently from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division (MVD). Montalbano’s career is topped by the successful passage of the greatest flood in the river’s history, an achievement that prevented more than $230 billion in damages to people and property in the Mississippi River Valley.

For the last five years, as the levee safety program manager for MVD, he was responsible for keeping levees strong and reliable from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Placed end-to-end, the levee system Montalbano maintained safely is longer than the Great Wall of China, and encompasses 40 percent of all federal levees.

Montalbano developed his geotechnical engineering expertise in the Geotechnical Branch of the Corps’ Vicksburg District over a period of 20 years where he served as a project geotechnical engineer and team lead for 14 of those 20 years. 

He was also a contributing author to two sections of the International Levee Handbook.

Montalbano is a native of Greenwood, Miss. He earned an associate’s degree from Mississippi Delta Junior College in 1976, a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University in 1979 and a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University in 1984.


The Mississippi Valley Division is responsible for water resources engineering solutions in a 370,000-square-mile area, extending from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and encompassing portions of 12 states.  Work is carried out by district offices located in St. Paul, Minn.; Rock Island, Ill.; St. Louis, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn.; Vicksburg, Miss.; and New Orleans, La.


Bob Anderson

Release no. 13-017