Farmers welcome flood prevention in mid-Missouri

1 week 5 days 17 hours ago Friday, February 07 2020 Feb 7, 2020 Friday, February 07, 2020 3:25:00 PM CST February 07, 2020 in News
By: Grace Taylor, KOMU 8 Reporter

HARTSBURG - Flooding is a familiar word for many mid-Missouri farmers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is trying to prevent another year of damage.

According to a Missourian report, the Corps have doubled the release flow from Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River this week. It said the Corps predicted the river run-off will be 141 percent of normal in 2020.

Cole County Emergency Management Director Larry Oerly said a short-term effect of that decision is higher river levels in mid-Missouri. He said the long-term effect is what matters.

"We might have some flash flooding here," Oerly said. "We should be able to handle it down here."

Hartsburg farmer Terry Hilgedick is also thinking long-term.

"Any water that they can send on down the river from the winter months is a good thing for the time being. It's actually something that we in the downstream states have wanted for a number of years," Hilgedick said.

He said a decision like this may have prevented flooding in 2019.

"I hope that there has been something learned. It's come to a great expense to folks like me," Hilgedick said.

Jackie Casteel of the Missouri Organic Association said Corps made a good short-term decision, but is concerned about its affect on the Spring.

"Some of the issues they have as farmers in watching those waters be released is that some of those reservoirs and lakes are also used as recreational spaces, and so they don't want to go down a certain level and affect the recreational use of those reservoirs," Casteel said.

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