Missouri-Mississippi Basins Governors, Army Corps of Engineers To Confer on Hell and High Water
April 23, 2019 (EIRNS)—As the high waters continue in the Missouri and Mississippi Basins, governors of Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri will meet April 26 with leaders of the Omaha District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to receive the Corps’ options for building flood-defense infrastructure, which the governors requested April 3, at their last meeting. On April 17, the U.S. Senate Environment Committee had a meeting on the disaster in Glenwood, Iowa, which tended to fixate on castigating the Corps for following a green mandate—approved by Congress in the 2000s—to serve the interests of endangered species and fishing, instead of protecting life and property. The Corps witnesses countered that they acted to protect life and property in the current flood disaster, but they lacked the means in both infrastructure and funding.
Water is still running high at many places. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has issued an executive order continuing a state of emergency through May 15, which he first declared on March 12. It deploys state resources to help livestock, clear debris and other relief functions. Ricketts declared April 7 a “Day of Prayer” for those suffering from the flooding, stating, “Nebraska has experienced the most widespread natural disaster in state history.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson this week will officially call for Federal emergency relief, now that a preliminary damage tally has been made, which is huge. As much as one-third of the state is technically in a flood plain. In Iowa, some towns are still under water; residents in the small town of Pacific Junction have been under mandatory evacuation for nearly a month.
On the Mississippi River itself, water is 20 feet higher than normal in some stretches, which among other hazards, has disrupted barge traffic shipping bulk fertilizer for spring planting.