Hoeven, Conrad Form Missouri River Working Group to Improve Flood Control Management

WASHINGTON –Senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad launched the “Missouri River Working Group” today in an effort to improve flood control along the Missouri River and address the impact for local communities. 

The new bipartisan group, which is set to convene its first meeting during the week of July 11, 2011, will work together to address issues related to flood control, examine the best ways to protect people and property, and seek solutions to avoid similar flooding in the years to come. 

Senators Hoeven and Conrad, and Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, sent a letter to their Senate colleagues today, stating, “This year has created huge challenges for the communities along the river. Historic rainfall totals have combined with high levels of snowmelt to place enormous stress on the Missouri’s great reservoirs.” 

“In response, the Army Corps of Engineers has been forced to release record levels of water down the river resulting in heavy flooding. It is expected to continue this release at such levels for the next several weeks,” the Senators wrote. 

“The Corps has briefed us on its continued efforts to protect communities, lives, and livelihoods under very difficult circumstances. In addition, Corps commanders continue to work to ensure that those who live near and rely on the river for their livelihoods are kept informed of the latest developments and flood control decisions,” the Senators continued. 

“This group will assess the factors that led to this year’s floods, evaluate ideas for improving flood control along the Missouri River and collaborate on efforts to prioritize flood control measures in the future. Improving flood control will require cooperation from one end of the Missouri River to the other,” the Senators concluded.