Governors and representatives of eight states impacted by this year’s historic flooding of the Missouri River are meeting in Omaha today to discuss concerns and issues related to the river.
Governor’s Dave Heineman from Nebraska, Terry Branstad from Iowa, Sam Brownback from Kansas, Jack Dalrymple from North Dakota, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota and senior staff for Matthew Mead of Wyoming, Jay Nixon from Missouri joined the meeting by phone. Senior staff from Governor Brian Schweitzer’s Montana office joined by phone.
Governor Jack Dalrymple stated there needs to be a “worst case scenario” plan in place regarding river management. He stated the normal operating plan along the Missouri River makes no adjustments for variances in circumstances from year to year. He stated that should be taken into account.
Governor Dalrymple says up until now the Corps of Engineers was the only ones who had the say on how to handle the water releases at dams and he is looking forward to that changing. He says they have agreed to talk to the governors prior to the finalization of the operating plan.
There will be one more meeting between the governors and the Army Corps of Engineers prior to Thanksgiving. That is when the Corps will finalize the operating plan for next year and the governors can give their input.
The Governors will sign a letter to members of Congress today stating that the states along the river are committed to having more direct involvement in flood management through the formation of a governor’s working group.