The latest Missouri River study being released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is being criticized by a congressman as “incomplete” and, in some respects, “inaccurate.”
The study found adding flood storage to the Missouri River system would not have prevented damage to barge and recreational traffic during the record flooding across Nebraska and Iowa last year.
Iowa Congressman Steve King doesn’t buy the claims.
“I think it’s very clear that if they had utilized the storage upstream — and I’m not suggesting they should have seen this coming, but now that they have seen a flood like this, I think it’s incorrect for them to take the position that having the storage upstream would not have protected us from serious damage,” King says. “It would have protected us from exactly what they need to do — it would have protected us from serious downstream flooding.”
King, a Republican from Kiron in western Iowa, is also upset that the Corps released the report without first meeting with members of Congress.
“Now, we have to deal with a public document that I think is incomplete and in some aspects incorrect,” King said. He’s working on setting up a meeting with Corps officials in Omaha.
The Corps report indicates if flood control storage were increased by roughly 30% upstream of Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota, peak releases could be reduced from 160,000 cubic feet per second to 100,000 cfs (C-F-S). But even with the lower releases, the Corps notes widespread damages would not be prevented.
“That’s just simply not true,” King responded. “It would have prevented serious downstream flooding below Gavins Point. If their definition of widespread damage is something that took place in Montana and North Dakota, they should say so.”