Posted on 10/27/11
(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)–Sharing the story of this year’s Missouri River flood through the eyes of those impacted, the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and Missouri Corn Merchandising Council (MCMC) held a viewing of the short film “Underwater and Overlooked: Crisis on the Missouri River.” The event took place tonight at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, Mo., prior to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) public meeting.
“Homes, businesses and livelihoods from the Dakotas to Missouri were devastated during the summer-long siege of floodwaters,” noted MCGA President Billy Thiel, a corn producer from Malta Bend, Mo. “As water recedes along the banks of the river, it is vital we keep the story of those suffering in the minds of elected officials and government leaders who can influence flood management and disaster funding decisions.”
Despite a dry growing season in the Midwest, historic amounts of water were released from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota, inundating an estimated 400,000 acres of prime farmland for four months. The extended, record-breaking releases severely damaged federal and private levees along the Missouri River, causing concern for both this and next year’s crop.
“This is about more than flooded farms and homes – this is about people’s lives and livelihoods,” said Missouri Corn Director of Communications Becky Frankenbach. “We want those charged with managing the Missouri River system to see and hear the destruction caused by this year’s flood.”
The short documentary, first debuted Tuesday in St. Joseph, poses tough questions about Missouri River flood management decisions. Intended to keep pressure on the Corps to prioritize flood control as well as infrastructure repair and development, the film mirrors comments vocalized by citizens in recent public meetings.
“This year we faced unprecedented amounts of water pouring from an over-capacity reservoir system,” said Rob Korff, MCMC chairman and farmer from Norborne, Mo. “As river levels return to normal, the Corps must immediately repair levees and devise a plan that will prevent future floods of this magnitude. Families and farms must be protected first and foremost.”
Underwater and Overlooked: Crisis on the Missouri River can be viewed at www.mocorn.org/flood.
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Director of Communications
Missouri Corn Growers Association