River Rise May Pose Risk

1 decade 1 month 4 weeks ago Thursday, October 18 2007 Oct 18, 2007 Thursday, October 18, 2007 12:35:27 AM CDT October 18, 2007 in News

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to implement a spring rise next year, and Attorney General Jay Nixon says this might pose a risk. The state is asking the corps to cancel the rise.

Farmer Terry Hilgedick knows the dangers flooding has to his farm.

"It is always in the back of your mind no matter how dry or how wet it is," said Hilgedick.

A spring rise next year would release more water into the Missouri River in hopes of benefiting the endangered pallid sturgeon.

State officials are urging against this, as 40 levees on the river still need repair from this spring's flooding.

"We think that is a mistake," said Attorney General Spokesman Scott Holste. "We think at the very least there should be an opportunity for the levees that were damaged to be prepared."

Before the floods last spring, the corps planned on a spring rise but decided against it. If it had gone ahead with the plan, the results might have been devastating. 

"We had very heavy rains in this area and the Kansas City area that caused a great deal of flooding," said Holste. "That flooding would have been considerably worse if the spring rise had occurred." 

Farmers don't want to see the government take the risk of more flooding next year.

"It's something that is unfortunate enough to have to go through, but it's also more unfortunate when those sorts of instances are forced upon you by your own government and that's exactly what goes on with the spring rise," said Hilgedick.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it has not made a decision whether to implement the spring rise. The corps will take into consideration the Attorney General's comments.

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