Farmers, reps, and more meet to discuss future of Tri-States flood response

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HANNIBAL, Mo. – Farmers, state representatives and engineers met Saturday morning to discuss the future of Tri-State flood responses.

“We have farmed other farms that are actually underwater now, and it’s tough to sustain the losses of ground that is underwater,” said Marion County farmer Andrew Lehenbauer.

He said it was a close call for him when the levee in West Quincy almost broke in May, so he attended the meeting to discuss what can be done differently in the future.

Hosted by the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, organizers said the meeting aimed to address flooding and all the problems that come with it.

“A lot of people have talked about sedimentation in the side channels, and those things are happening, but Congress has not given us authority to dredge out those areas,” said Army Corps of Engineering chief David Busse.

Busse also talked about levee heights, something he said is decided on a state-by-state basis in the region.

Louis Riggs represents Missouri’s fifth congressional district. He said he’s interested in an agreement like the one states in the lower Mississippi have.

“We also need to be talking about state standards themselves, what’s acceptable, what’s not acceptable, an interstate contract would be interesting to make sure folks on different sides of the river are obeying what they’re supposed to,” he said.

Lehenbauer said it’s and idea worth exploring.

“Up in the upper Mississippi everyone is kind of on their own,” he said. “It would be nice to be able to work together.”

Officials from the Upper Mississippi Basin River Association said they want to hear from you at future meeting if you’ve been impacted by flooding.

Future Meetings:
July 20, Muscatine, Iowa at the Merrill Hotel and Conference Center
July 27, Dubuque, Iowa at the Grand River Center
August 3, Winona, Minnesota at the Minnesota State College SE
August 24, Godfrey, Illinois at the Lewis and Clark Community College
September 7, Cape Girardeau, Missouri at the Southeast Missouri State University

Frank Healy

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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