Report suggests new way to handle Missouri River flooding

May 15, 2012

A new report by the advocacy group American Rivers says when it comes to managing flooding along the Missouri River, the US Army Corps of Engineers should rely on floodplains and wetlands, not levees and dams. But the Corps doesn't see flood management as an "either/or" proposition.

John Grothaus of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Kansas City hadn't yet seen the new report.

But he says since last year's record flooding along the Missouri River, the Corps's priority has been to repair damaged flood control structures.

And he says dams and levees will continue to be an important component of flood management. 

"The other component is looking at wise floodplain management measures in the floodplain. And one way to better manage floodplains is allow them some areas where it's feasible and where it's acceptable in the communities to restore to their natural functions," Grothaus said.

Grothaus says the Corps has been working with landowners along the Missouri River to restore floodplain habitat as part of the Missouri River Recovery Program.