Army Corps Recieving Criticism on May Flood

At the fourth in a series of public input sessions Thursday night in Jefferson City, farmers and representatives of lawmakers shared opinions and criticism on how the corps handled the historic flooding last May, June and July.

By Martin Sutovsky (Columbia, Mo.)

In 2011 Water runoff from the Missouri River was the highest since 1898 but the budget plan spent less than 10-million dollars on flood control while spending 72-million on wildlife and conservation efforts. Many farmers such as Dan Kuenzel lost thousands in crops last summer and feel that flood control is not considered a priority.

“There should be a balance of needs with the environment and stakeholders along the river. Not just for the environment but for the people that live and work along the river also. And it gets to a point where you get frustrated with everything," said Kuenzel.

Governor Jay Nixon’s Representative, Sara Parker Pauley said on his behalf that he wants flood control to become a top priority for the corps and to move funding away from the species restoration program into flood control.

Money would be used to repair levees to their pre-2011 conditions and to control water flow. The U.S. Army Corp’s Brigadier General John McMahon said the river system is still vulnerable and will remain so until water comes down off the levee.