Iowa’s governor says he’s long thought down-stream states have not been adequately protected by from Missouri River flooding by the river management plans developed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to visit western Iowa this afternoon to view to extent of flooding along the Missouri.
“After it’s all over, we’ll want to do a review of this and determine what could have been done different,” Branstad says. “Right now I think we all need to work together. We need to work with the Corps. We need to work with the local governments. We need to work with the private industries, do all we can to mitigate the damage and the problems.”
The timing of the release of water from dams upstream, and the volume of water that’s being released are decisions made by the Army Corps of Engineers. Branstad says those are decisions he’ll want to talk with the Corps about sometime “down the road” — after the flood emergency has passed.
“I have felt for a long time that the downstream states have not been protected in the flood-mitigation work of the Corps of Engineers,” Branstad says.
Earlier this week Branstad questioned Corps predictions about how long the flooding might last. The governor says his concerns about Missouri River management date back to his previous 16-year tenure as governor, which ended in January of 1999.
“I’ve always had concerns about the way it was managed and I’ve even communicated that to other governors, but right now that we’re in the midst of this flood fight, we all need to work together, not spend our time pointing fingers at each another,” but saying, ‘How can we do this better and how can we protect property as best we can?'” Branstad says. “And there’ll be plenty of opportunity after the fact to assess what can we do going forward better to manage and control this whole Missouri River basin.”
Branstad made his comments this morning during taping of the Iowa Public Television program, “Iowa Press”, which airs this evening at 7:30.
Branstad’s scheduled to arrive in Council Bluffs at 1:15 for a tour of the city’s wastewater treatment plant, followed by a two o’clock meeting at the staging area for sandbagging efforts around the MidAmerican Energy power plant in Council Bluffs. At 3:30 Branstad and the head of Iowa’s Homeland Security Emergency Management division will hold a press conference in the Council Bluffs City Council Chambers.
Photo courtesy of Governor’s office.