Jody Farhat

(via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/Jay Woods)

An increase in free space within reservoirs would not have made much of a difference in last year’s record flooding along the Missouri River, according to a report released today by the Army Corps of Engineers.   

Jody Farhat, the Corps’ Chief Water Manager for the Missouri River, says a higher amount of free space would have only reduced last year’s flooding, not prevented it.

“Due to the tremendous volume of water, we still would have had very high record releases from the reservoirs," Farhat said.  "We still would have had a significant flood event in the Missouri basin."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it’s changing its short-term approach to managing water levels on the Missouri River, following devastating flooding this summer in Missouri, Iowa and North Dakota.

Jody Farhat is chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management office in Omaha.  She says the Corps of Engineers will be more flexible this fall and winter in evacuating as much water as possible along the Missouri ahead of next year’s runoff season.