Posted on 11/16/11
(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)–The Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) applauds Missouri’s congressional delegation for introducing legislation to help residents along the Missouri River rebuild from this year’s devastating flood and improve future flood management.
Recognizing the frustration of citizens impacted by floodwaters, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt yesterday filed two amendments to the Energy and Water appropriations bill to cut through bureaucratic red tape within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). The first amendment aims to clear a path for citizens and communities to quickly rebuild and repair levees, locks and dams damaged after record water was released from Gavins Point Dam. The second measure refocuses funds from the Corps’ Missouri River Recovery Program to address flood control priorities.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill co-sponsored both amendments and filed additional legislation today to prevent the Corps from offering buyouts of flooded properties. Calling offers made earlier this year “poorly-timed” and “ill-considered,” McCaskill’s amendment would prohibit the Corps from sending unsolicited letters to property owners during a flood event.
“Missouri Corn has been working tirelessly to ensure citizens along the Missouri River are protected in coming years,” said MCGA President Billy Thiel, a farmer from Malta Bend, Mo. “We applaud Missouri’s leaders for acting swiftly to not only provide for the immediate needs of citizens, but also put measures in place to prevent a flood of this magnitude in the future. We are hopeful additional senators will join them in these efforts.”
U.S. Reps. Sam Graves, Emanuel Cleaver, Blaine Luetkemeyer and Vicky Hartzler are also standing with flood victims by supporting legislation in the House of Representatives. Designed to prevent serious downstream flooding, HR 2942 directs the Corps to revise the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System Master Water Control Manual to provide greater flood storage capacity.
“It is imperative levees and infrastructure are immediately restored to protect lives, homes, farms and local businesses along the river,” noted Thiel. “Flood control must take priority in river management, not only in name, but through proper appropriations. Our sincere thanks go out to Missouri’s congressional leaders for working to make sure appropriate action is taken.”
The Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and Missouri Corn Growers Association recently released a short documentary showing the personal stories behind the summer-long inundation. The 15-minute film, Underwater and Overlooked: Crisis on the Missouri River, can be viewed online at www.mocorn.org/flood.
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Director of Communications
Missouri Corn Growers Association