After a third round of flooding hit southwest Iowa last month, Iowa Congressman Steve King met Wednesday with officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Missouri Valley.
The goal was to find ways to better protect people and property from high water. King, a Republican from Kiron, says he knows the Corps has requested funds to study the lower Missouri River and its tributaries. King says, “I want to make sure this river can contain all of the water that has ever run down it and not have this thing outside the levees.”
King recalled a bill he introduced in 2011 directing the Corps to adjust its flood control storage space in the Missouri River Reservoir System. Opposition from recreational fishermen froze the bill, but King says he may bring it back to Congress in the future.
Corps officials say the Missouri River study will look at the waterway’s impact from Sioux City to St. Louis, seeking ways to reduce flood risks and improve infrastructure resilience. Corps District Commander Colonel John Hudson says solutions for future flooding go beyond beefing up levees and may include establishing floodways and looking at drainage management.
“We have a similar melt event that we had in this last March, we’ll have similar impacts on the system,” Hudson says. “It was overtopped for four days and we’ll have levees overtopped for four days again. It was all on unregulated tributaries.” Hudson says the study could take three to five years. King asked how many would be in favor of an expedited study and the majority of the people at the meeting raised their hands.
(Thanks to Katie Peikes, Iowa Public Radio)