Missouri River levee official testifies during hearing
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment hosted a hearing on implementation of recent Water Resources Development Acts (WRDAs), as well as the water resources and infrastructure needs across the Nation for Congress to consider in the next WRDA. During the hearing, House Transportation Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (MO-06) focused on the ongoing flooding being experienced across North Missouri.
“The most important impacts of floods are the impacts on people. These are my neighbors, friends, and family. The displacement and disruption of people’s lives is more than just dollars and cents. It’s a disruption of their peace of mind, their feeling of safety, and the prospect of having to pick up the pieces and trying to rebuild their lives and their community.
“Missourians are tough. And we will get through this together. But we cannot lose perspective of what was really lost here as we strive for better outcomes from the public policy that we debate in Congress,” Graves said in his opening statement.
Tom Waters, Chairman of the Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association, testified before the committee on the impacts of the 2019 flooding in the Missouri River basin.
In his testimony, Waters discussed recent flooding and funding needs for levee repairs and flood recovery, desperately needed changes in the management and operations of the Missouri River Reservoir System, and long-term improvements to flood control infrastructure across the nation.
“Flood control must be the number one priority for the management and operation of the Missouri River Reservoir System. We have reached a tipping point and we can no longer continue to conduct failed experiment after failed experiment at the expense of people’s lives and livelihoods. Missouri and Iowa farmland was not meant to be the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s laboratory and midwestern farmers no longer want to be their guinea pigs,” Waters said in his testimony.
“The decline of our flood control infrastructure is not limited to the Missouri River. The lack of emphasis on flood control over the past 20-plus years and the current inadequate infrastructure must be addressed as a national priority. Congress must act together to correct the problem.”
Graves questioned Waters about the impacts of the flooding during the hearing.
“This year’s flooding has absolutely wreaked havoc on North Missouri. Tom Waters is a wealth of information on Missouri River flooding and consistently makes sure we have the latest information on Missouri River flooding and management. I appreciated Tom’s willingness to share his expertise on Missouri River flooding with the Subcommittee,” said Graves.
Others testifying at the hearing included R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), and Major General Scott A. Spellmon, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, United States Army Corps of Engineers.
You can view highlights of the hearing here.
You can read Mr. Waters’ written testimony here.
You can read Ranking Member Graves’ Opening Statement here.