7 Missouri River Govs Ask for Better Flood Control
Governors from several states hit by this year's historic overflowing of the Missouri River pledged today (Aug. 19) to work together for the first time to convince the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make flood control its top priority for the nation's longest river, The Associated Press reported.
The top executives from seven states signed a letter during a meeting in Omaha that asks the federal agency to review its river management practices and make recommendations to improve flood control along the 2,341-mile-long river. The corps manages the river, which flows from Montana, through North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said he opted not to attend the meeting and has refused to sign the letter. Schweitzer told The Associated Press he felt the meeting was tilted in favor of downriver states that want to focus solely on flood mitigation and navigation, at the expense of recreation and wildlife.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback acknowledged that upstream and downstream states often clash about river management, but he said this year's floods convinced most to join forces and push for flood control.
Governors are meeting in Omaha to discuss ways to avoid a repeat of this year's destructive floods that submerged thousands of acres of farmland, flooded campgrounds, forced residents from their homes and rerouted trains and motorists. Some cities, including Omaha, spent millions of dollars trying to protect airports, water treatment plants and other infrastructure from the rising waters.