Hoeven Presses Top Corps General To Advance Flood Fight

WASHINGTON –Senator John Hoeven today met with Gen. John McMahon, Commander of the Northwestern Division of the Army Corps of Engineers, to stress the urgent and timely need for ongoing assistance to North Dakota communities beset by flooding, and to make sure they have the resources they need to protect residents and businesses. McMahon oversees the management of the Missouri River. 

Hoeven urged McMahon to take a proactive, anticipatory approach to flood mitigation measures to protect people and property, from Williston through Bismarck and Mandan. The general said the mountain snow runoff is so far melting slowly. Barring significant additional rainfall, the plan is to hold releases from Garrison Dam to 150,000 cubic feet per second and then gradually ramp down releases.  

Hoeven said the first consideration is maintaining and strengthening flood defenses, but then the Corps needs to determine what happened, and how we prevent it from happening again in the future.

 “First and foremost, the Corps needs to focus on the ongoing effort to monitor and enhance flood protection measures in communities along the Missouri, but then the focus needs to shift to determining how we got here and how we prevent a similar occurrence in the future,” Hoeven said.  

McMahon said a combination of factors, including the regular plains snow melt, mountain runoff and significant rainfall in critical areas of the Missouri River basin have prompted this year’s unprecedented releases from the system’s main stem dams. 

Hoeven is traveling to North Dakota today, and will be in Minot tonight and tomorrow for flood fight and response efforts.