As residents of North Missouri, we’ve learned to expect the floods that accompany the heavy rains of Spring. We’re used to flash floods cutting off roads and making our lives more difficult. We’re prepared to deal with minor and moderate flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. This year has been different.
We saw record flooding tear down the Missouri River in March—much earlier in the year than we’re accustomed to—destroying homes, farms, and communities in the process. Likewise, the Mississippi River saw record flooding as well. Since then, flood waters have remained high, making repairs to damaged levees impossible and weakening those levees still holding strong. Now, the Mississippi, Missouri and rivers across North Missouri are rapidly on the rise again, some to levels not seen in years.
In the face of this, we are resilient. Friends and neighbors are coming together to sandbag levees and fight tirelessly to protect homes, farms, towns and businesses. The Missouri National Guard has been working in several communities to reinforce levees. The unparalleled dedication of volunteers and the National Guard has been heartening to see and we are grateful for their efforts.
Earlier this month, I voted for a disaster relief package that would bring more resources to help families, communities, and farmers impacted by the flooding. That package included money to help with crop and livestock losses as well as infrastructure repairs to help fix roads, bridges, and levees damaged by flooding. I also fought successfully to cover flood-related on-farm stored grain losses in the disaster package—a top priority of many farmers impacted by flooding. The Senate passed a similar bill last week and I look forward to a final bill passing the House soon—to finally get folks the help they need.
When the floodwaters finally recede, there will be much to rebuild. In places, floodwaters have already caused more damage than we saw in 1993. For now, we’ll keep praying for the rains to let up. We’ll keep fighting to hold the floodwaters back and we’ll keep working together to save our communities.