Residents Voice Flooding Concerns at Army Corps Meeting

8 years 3 weeks 11 hours ago Thursday, October 27 2011 Oct 27, 2011 Thursday, October 27, 2011 8:44:00 PM CDT October 27, 2011 in News
By: Elise Oggioni

JEFFERSON CITY- Residents and elected officials had the chance to voice their concerns about the 2012 flood season at an Army Corps of Engineers hearing in Jefferson City Thursday night.

The meeting was held at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, where the Army Corps displayed informational posters about reservoir systems and where the flooding seemed to be heaviest.

Brigador General John McMahon opened up the hearing by updating the crowd the progress the Army Corps has made thus far. But he said even though they are working on improvements, he wants citizens to know there is only so much they can do.

"The river system is still vulnerable. Until water comes down off the levee, it will not be able to clear roadways or land," McMahon says.

He also said that even if there is more space in the reservoir, there is no guarantee where the space would be.

Callaway County residents as well as representatives for state officials were given the chance to voice their opinions and concerns about the past flooding season and what they hope to see happen next flood season.

Residents spoke about things like losing money and land from water damage due to the flooding.

"I think you all should form one conference to monitor all the rivers. You need to do a better job," Lynyrd Skyman, a local resident, said.

Other residents said that the Army Corps should put up temporary structures now to lower the river levels going into this new flood season.

Matt Cassidy from the Missouri Farm Bureau said that a lack of funding is no excuse for what happened this past season.

"This is a recipe for disaster if left in dispair," Cassidy said.

Representatives for some state officials said they think there is too much emphasis on recreation and some of the Corps' policies "never made any sense". They also said it is imperative that the Corps work with citizens on these flood plans.

"These citizens need immediate answers and immediate action," one representative said.

The Corps talked about what contributed to the most runoff water during the flood season as well as what "flood projects"  have the largest percentage of flood shortage.

Officials said they are working now to determine the best strategy for the 2012 runoff, and hope to have the entire flood control shortage available in 2012.

The Army Corps of Engineers is now headed to Montana and North Dakota to speak with residents there. The tour will finish up in Sioux City, Iowa.

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