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Missouri officials raise concerns over spring rise

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Missouri officials are contacting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with concerns about raising levels on the Missouri River next spring.

Governor Matt Blunt and Attorney General Jay Nixon both sent letters last week.

Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Robinson says the governor is concerned that some 40 levees are at risk after flooding last spring.

"Until those levees are repaired the governor is urging the Corps to consider very carefully before doing a spring rise," Robinson said.

Robinson says most of those levees are privately owned.

Since 2005, the corps has planned to raise river levels each spring by releasing more water from upstream reservoirs.

The intent is to encourage spawning by the pallid sturgeon, an endangered fish.

The spring rise was canceled this year because water levels in the reservoirs were too low to release the additional water.

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