Army Corps of Engineers officials vow to be more flexible with flood control methods this year, but admit there’s only so much they can do if we have a repeat of the conditions of last year.
Missouri River Basin Management Office Chief Jody Farhat says the Corps is adjusting the best it can with a downstream levee system badly weakened from last year’s flooding.
“Flood control is certainly the primary consideration as we move into 2012,” Farhat stated during a conference call. “Despite the fact that all of the 2011 floodwater has now been evacuated from the reservoir system, the basin remains vulnerable since many repairs have not been completed, particularly with the levees.”
The Corps only recently received funding to begin making repairs to the levees. Corps officials say emergency repairs will be made now with permanent repairs likely taking at least a year to complete.
The Corps has released its final management plan for the Missouri River. It doesn’t incorporate more flood-storage space in the six reservoirs upstream on the Missouri. It does include the flexibility the Corps has already started to use to increase releases from the upstream dams now to create more room in the reservoirs for runoff this spring.