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.
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.
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.
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.
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