U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Farmers and environmentalists faced off at a hearing today in Jefferson City over a water project on the Missouri River west of Boonville.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a new chute at Jameson Island designed to protect the pallid sturgeon and other native fish species.  Building it would involve dredging along the Missouri River, and the Corps wants to dump the sediment back into the river.  The move is strongly opposed by farm interests.  Dale Ludwig with the Missouri Soybean Association says up to a million cubic yards of sediment could be dumped into the Missouri River.

(Diana Fredlund/US Army Corps of Engineers)

A new report calls flood management on the Missouri River “outdated” and says it’s putting the public at risk.

The report by the environmental advocacy group American Rivers identifies the Missouri River as one of the ten most endangered in the country.

(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

The US Army Corps of Engineers has given the green light to start levee upgrades in the Metro East.

The Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council will start the first phase of levee construction next month.

The project supervisor for the council, Les Sterman, says the goal is to get the levees to a 100-year flood protection level by the end of 2014.

That would meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s accreditation standard.

(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."

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Parks again rejects Durbin's call for earlier night club closings

East St. Louis mayor Alvin Parks is again rejecting a call from Sen. Dick Durbin to institute an earlier closing time for the city’s night clubs and liquor stores

Durbin was in his hometown on Wednesday encouraging area ministers to push Parks for a 1 a.m. closing time. Durbin believes it would help curb the killings in a city that a federal prosecutor has called the nation’s most dangerous.

St. Louis Public Radio

The Southwestern Flood Prevention District Council says too much is at stake for any more delays in fixing levees in Metro East. 

Les Sterman, the project's supervisor for the Council says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has so far taken too long in approving plans to work on the levees.

He said their latest plan approval was six months late.

“Essentially we're doing our part," Sterman said. "All we're asking is for the federal agency to do its part in helping us get this project moving.”

(Atchison Co. Emergency Management)

State and federal leaders are gathering in Columbia Saturday to talk about ways to prevent last year’s devastating floods that plagued northwest and southeastern Missouri.

Heavy snow and rainfall led to record releases from South Dakota dams along the Missouri River –and as a result 200,000 acres of farmland in northwest Missouri sat flooded for months, along with a significant stretch of Interstate 29 in Missouri and Iowa.  Around 130,000 acres were flooded in the southeast part of the state when the Army Corps of Engineers blew a hole in the Birds Point Levee along the Mississippi River in order to protect the town of Cairo, Illinois.

Flickr/USACEpublicaffairs

Army Corps inspecting Birds Point Levee daily

Inspectors with the Army Corps of Engineers are performing daily inspections of the area where the Birds Point levee was intentionally breached in May. Maj. Jon Korneliussen told the Sikeston Standard Democrat that daily patrols are checking the middle and upper crevasses created by the implosion that happened at the height of spring flooding.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/Jay Woods)

Updated 4:13 p.m.

An independent panel says the US Army Corps of Engineers did what it could to prevent this year's record flooding along the Missouri River but that changes will be needed to manage increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

Hydrologist Bill Lawrence of the National Weather Service participated in the panel review and says Montana's record-breaking rainfall in May contributed to unprecedented runoff downstream.

(via Flickr/NASA Earth Observatory)

The Army Corps of Engineers says it's likely there will be more flooding along a Mississippi River floodway in southeast Missouri that was inundated earlier this year.

The corps says that based on forecasts of unseasonably high river levels there is a "significant risk" of more flooding along the Birds Point Floodway in the near future.

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.

(via Flickr/NASA Earth Observatory)

The Army Corps of Engineers now plans to rebuild the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri to 55 feet, four feet higher than originally scheduled.

Even with the extra four feet, however, the levee is actually being rebuilt shorter than it was before it was intentionally breached to relieve flooding pressure on the Mississippi River.

(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District)

The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is opening a new information center overlooking the Mississippi River in West Alton.

Riverlands program manager Charlie Deutsch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the 3,700-acre sanctuary attracts tens of thousands of migratory birds every year.

(via Flickr/Kansas City District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Susan Abbott )

The Army Corps of Engineers says flooding along the Missouri River in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri should end a few days sooner than predicted.

The Corps has been gradually reducing the amount of water being released from the six dams upstream since Aug. 19. Throughout the summer, roughly 160,000 cubic feet of water per second was being released from the dam near Yankton, S.D. creating flooding along the entire lower Missouri River.

(Flickr/Missouri Department of Transportation)

Metro-East contractors delay Mississippi River bridge protest

According to the Belleville News-Democrat, about 200 protesters gathered at the East St. Louis City Hall early this morning, but delayed a protest to shut down work on the new Mississippi River Bridge. The newspaper reports Illinois Governor Pat Quinn promised to call and the state’s transportation secretary is heading to the city to meet them.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from KRCU's Jacob McCleland was used in this report.

Army Corps of Engineers officials and Mississippi County farmers met with Senator Roy Blunt Thursday to discuss the restoration of the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway.

The Corps is currently building a temporary levee to 51 feet - more than eleven feet lower than the original levee that was detonated in May to relieve massive flooding on the Mississippi River.

(Photo courtesy of Atchison Co. Emergency Management)

The federal government should pay 100 percent of the cost of flood damage in Missouri – according to some members of the Missouri Senate.   

Normally, the feds pick up the tab for disaster response and later bill the affected state government 25 percent of the cost.  State Senator Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) says Missouri should not have to pay, since the floods in the Show-Me State were the federal government’s fault.

MoGov

Two dead in St. Charles house fire (updated 11:51 a.m.)

A man and his 2-year-old daughter are dead, and three other family members are badly hurt, after a house fire in St. Charles.

The fire swept through the home just before 3 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities identified the victims as 27-year-old Cameron Gresham and his daughter, Maren Gresham.

(via Flickr/USACEpublicaffairs)

The federal government has approved the disaster declaration for six counties in northwest Missouri that were pounded by flooding along the Missouri River.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Friday that eligible residents of Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Holt, Lafayette and Platte counties can seek federal assistance uninsured property that was lost to the flood. Eligible expenses include temporary housing, home repair, and the replacement of household items.  

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/Photo by Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk)

Senators from states lining the Missouri River are asking the Army Corps of Engineers to outline plans for next year's flood preparations.

The senators say in a letter sent to top Corps officials on Monday that the agency must learn from this year's devastating flood season and apply those lessons to next year's plan.

The delegation is also asking what authority the Corps has to make changes to its annual operating plan for the river, and whether any additional authority will be needed.

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