An independent study of the Army Corps of Engineers’ handling of the Missouri River this year claims the Corps did the best that it could with historic weather conditions, but its decision-making process could be improved.
A panel of experts reviewed how the Corps handled the Missouri River this year. It has released a 99-page analysis. [Click here for the report]
Sen. Mike Johanns calls the report an important first step.
“The major take away for me is that the Master Manual does not work well in this kind of historic event where you have just an unprecedented amount of water to deal with,” Johanns tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Rainfall in Montana exceeded 300% of normal, according to the report. That massive rainfall combined with a larger-than-normal snowmelt, swamping the six reservoirs upstream on the Missouri River. The Corps released unprecedented amounts of water to relieve pressure on the dams, flooding downstream states throughout the summer.
The Corps says the floods caused $630 million in damage to levees, dams and channels along the Missouri. The Army Corps of Engineers manages the Missouri River for its 2,341 mile length, flowing from Montana through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. It uses the Missouri River Master Manual as its guide.
The panel found that the Corps followed the manual in handling the flood of 2011. But, the panel says both the manuals used by the Corps and its decision-making process could stand improvement.