Last summer, waters from the swollen Missouri River flooded thousands of acres of farmland, forced residents from their homes and rerouted trains and motorists in the Midwest. Cities along the nation’s longest waterway, including Omaha, spent millions of dollars trying to protect airports, water treatment plants and other facilities from the rising waters.
Remnants of the historic flood are still in evidence along the 2,300-mile route, where until recently, waters still remained … nearly 17 weeks after the Missouri River originally left its banks.
Damage estimates are still being calculated, but in Iowa, crop losses along are expected to exceed $200 million. A study funded by the Nebraska Farm Bureau revealed $189 million in lost crop sales and other economic activity in the Cornhusker State alone.
This week, federal officials warned policy makers from six states along the Missouri, damages from this year's epic battle with Mother Nature may cause their states to be even more vulnerable next year.
According to the Army Corps of Engineers, repairs to the complex system of levees, dams and other structures could run between $500 million to $1 billion. So far, the Army corps has set aside less than $28 million for the project.
Congress, already hard pressed to fund disaster relief in other regions, would need to appropriate the balance of funds for repairs and modifications to flood control systems.