U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

(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.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/Jay Woods)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will reduce water releases from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota, a sign that major Missouri River flooding could be nearing an end.

The corps' Omaha District construction chief, Robert Michaels, says the corps will decrease the water volume gradually from its current 160,000 cubic feet per second. The corps plans to drop the flow to 155,000 cubic feet per second on July 31 and cut it to 150,000 cubic feet per second on Aug. 1.

(via Flickr/GIANTsqurl)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

Mo. Gov. Nixon to sign legislation related to disability issues

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is preparing to sign legislation addressing several physical and mental disability issues. The governor has scheduled a signing ceremony for this morning at Paraquad Independent Living Center in St. Louis.

(flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Carlos J. Lazo)

The Missouri River Working Group is holding its first meeting on Wednesday to come up with a policy on flood control.

Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill launched the group with senators from North Dakota to look for ways to improve flood control along the Missouri River and keep this year’s flooding from happening again.

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

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is taking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to task for its handling of the Missouri River, which has flooded thousands of acres of farmland in seven states.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of a June 28 letter in which Vilsack questions the Corps' decision not to release more water from dams earlier in the spring to prevent prolonged flooding this summer. The flooding followed spring rains and the melting of a deep Rocky Mountain snowpack.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/By Carlos J. Lazo)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is catching flak for sending out letters to farmers along the flooded Missouri River.

The letters in question are an attempt to gauge farmers' interest in selling their lands to the federal government for wildlife habitat restoration.  Farmers in Missouri and Iowa have been receiving the letters.

(via Flickr/NASA Earth Observatory)

The federal Environmental Protection Association says it found no evidence of serious contamination in Mississippi River water released by the May 2 breech of the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri.

The Army Corps of Engineers blew up the levee to relieve the flooding risk to Cairo, Ill.  In doing so, it covered 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland with several feet of water.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 8:55 with information about another levee breach:

The flooding has breached another levee in northwest Missouri, forcing the evacuation of the Holt County town of Craig.

Emergency officials in Holt County say the flooding Missouri River breached a levee along the Big Tarkio River around 2 p.m. Monday, and another nearby levee is being overtopped.

Residents of Craig have until noon to leave their homes. Emergency sandbagging operations are ongoing.

Our earlier story:

The amount of water being released from a South Dakota dam into the Missouri River could increase, if a weather system currently over the river’s upper basin dumps more rain.

That’s the warning given today by Brigadier General John McMahon of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during a visit to Jefferson City.

(via Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Carlos J. Lazo)

Mo. Republican Roy Blunt says he's carefully watching a wave of water that will make its way down the Missouri River over the next few days and is already forcing evacuations in Iowa.

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