FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2020
Department to host stakeholder meetings on recurrent flooding in Lower Missouri River Basin
Initial focus areas include six Missouri counties across the state
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 24, 2020 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will host four stakeholder meetings focused on areas of recurrent flooding and damage in the Lower Missouri River Basin.
The public is invited and encouraged to virtually attend all meetings. Due to concerns regarding COVID-19, each of the four meetings will be held virtually. The meeting formats will be consistent. However, each meeting will focus on collecting feedback on a particular area along the Missouri River.
Meetings are from 3 to 5 p.m. for the following focus areas:
- Thursday, Aug. 27, Holt County Focus
- Tuesday, Sept. 1, Ray County and Lafayette County Focus
- Thursday, Sept. 3, Cole County and Callaway County Focus
- Thursday, Sept. 10, Montgomery County Focus
Missouri and neighboring states saw historic flooding on the Missouri River last year. Some locations were above flood stage for nearly 280 days, well surpassing the duration of both the 2011 and 1993 floods. More than 100 levees overtopped or breached, 1.2 million acres of farmland sat underwater, and approximately 470 roads were closed.
In November 2019, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts joined Missouri Governor Mike Parson in his commitment to work collectively on enhancing flood protection in the Lower Missouri Basin through the execution of a Memorandum of Agreement. These four meetings are part of a partnership agreement between the states and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which fulfills a key component of the MOA by identifying areas to improve flood recovery and protection on the Lower Missouri.
“Together, we took immediate action by entering into a Planning Assistance to States agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Missouri Governor Mike Parson. “Many people rely on the effective and predictable operation of the Missouri River by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. We owe it to our citizens who have been impacted by flooding to be thorough in our study of recovery priorities and the needed changes to minimize future impacts.”
In the past decade, the Lower Missouri River Basin saw its first, second and fourth highest runoff years on record.
“With more recurrent damage, Governor Parson and the governors of Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska appreciated the need to work together to forge a different path of recovery,” said Dru Buntin, Deputy Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “They committed to looking for innovative solutions that protect the Lower Missouri River Basin system.”
The agreement has several goals:
- Analyze vulnerable problem spots on the lower Missouri River;
- Conduct stakeholder outreach to better understand recurrent problem areas, impacts and potential solutions;
- Assess effective options to provide better protection and function; and
- Conduct an initial assessment of flow changes and changes to stream profile.
The department has identified several initial focus areas and is seeking input from the public about the types of impacts seen and ideas to provide better future systemic flood protection. The four states and the Corps are already considering a more far-reaching agreement that will allow further discussion, assessment and action to increase protection in the Lower Missouri Basin.
Additional information, links and phone numbers for participation will be made available on the department’s website at dnr.mo.gov/floodrecovery/pas.htm. The department will record and post the meetings on its website.
The department encourages interested parties to provide feedback concerning these initial focus areas and other areas along the Missouri River in Missouri. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.