Iowa Congressman Steve King says he wants to talk with leaders of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about their plan for 2020 flood control in the Missouri River basin.
King says he wants to know how the Corps will help to prevent a repeat of the flooding that caused parts of Interstate 29 in western Iowa to be flooded three times in 2019. “That’s what I want to sit down with the Corps and have a discussion about,” King says. “Having spent my working life in these kind of projects, although this is a bigger project than King Construction has ever done, I want to look at the whole scope of this, the entire Missouri River watershed.”
Four states along the Missouri River are joining forces to look for ways to avoid the kind of flooding that caused millions of dollars damage last year. Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas are pooling their money to pay for half of a $400,000 study with the Corps of Engineers to measure how much water flows down the Missouri River. King says he’s concerned about the feeder tributaries into the Missouri River, like Perry Creek and other northwest Iowa rivers that ran high or flooded last year.
“If it is a series of dams up in each of these watersheds like Perry Creek, if it’s a 20 or 30-year project like often these things turn into,” King says, “we need to see it with a clear eye and start down that path.” King says he is anxious to hear ideas from the Corps on the flood issue.
King says, “What I hear sometimes from the Corps is, ‘We don’t have the money, we don’t have the resources,’ and I say, ‘That’s not what this is about right now. It’s about the biggest idea you can come up with that does the most good and how we might taylor that into something that might solve this.'”
King spoke at a town hall meeting Saturday in Sioux City.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)