Missouri, along with Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas, are working on a flooding recovery plan to help lessen the damage done by flooding each year.
Flooding is the deadliest weather hazard in the state of Missouri. According to the Department of Natural Resources, the total damage cost for flooding in 2019 was $18.6 million.
Last March, Craig, Missouri, got a severe flash flood that damaged homes and a lot of public property. This was due to a giant levee breach.
A levee is a barrier created so rivers don’t overflow, much like a dam. The levee in Craig busted and caused major flooding throughout the town. It proceeded to damage other surrounding towns and roads, leaving damage as far north as Nebraska.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has worked with the committee against flooding the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers have caused. The committee and Parson have been meeting since August 2019. The Department of Natural Resources provided information about flood recovery collaboration with neighboring states – Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.
According to the group’s interim report, the group has been briefed on the current recovery plans different federal organizations have in place for Missouri.
These groups included four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts — Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; St. Louis, Missouri; and Rock Island, Illinois — the Federal Emergency Management Agency and three U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies: Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency.
In the report, the group’s goals are to continue looking for both long-term and short-term ideas to combat the flooding issue. Missouri is slowly implementing the surrounding states so they can all work together.
In the DNR press release, Dru Buntin, acting director of the Missouri DNR, said the group is looking at short-term things they can help with, such as looking at different counties problems individually.
“Longer term, group members want to see the state have a leading voice in system operation on both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers,” Buntin said.
Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture Chris Chinn said the group was impacting Missouri greatly, especially agriculture.
“The work of this group is critically important given the devastating impact of this year’s flooding on Missouri agriculture,” Chinn said.
Between Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas, the four states are planning to split paying the $400,000 the group needs to go forth with their plan.
No information has been released on how much money Missouri will officially be contributing to the plan.
The next meeting is Feb. 10, and they will continue to meet all throughout 2020 until their final report to Parson in May.