Hoeven to Corps: Be Prepared for Possible Spring Flooding

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today met with Col. Joel Cross, Omaha District Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, and other Corps officials to review the spring weather forecast and flood preparations in North Dakota communities.

“As spring advances, we again asked the Corps to closely monitor conditions and the forecast in the Upper Missouri River Basin to make sure they are doing all they can to prevent and prepare for potential flooding in the region,” Hoeven said. “While the current forecast continues to suggest that the risk of flooding is low, we know from past experiences that heavy rainfall can heighten the risk significantly. As such, it is imperative that Corps keep a close eye on the situation so that we are well prepared for any potential flooding.”

The senator also thanked Corps officials for continuing to make repairs at Garrison Dam and along the Missouri River as part of the effort to recover from the 2011 flood. Hoeven secured funding in 2011 to repair and restore Corps infrastructure along the Missouri River following that year’s historic floods.

The senator also underscored the importance of Missouri River reservoir water to businesses and families throughout the basin. Hoeven said he will continue to oppose any Corps plan to charge residents and businesses for water that rightfully belongs to North Dakotans.

Last year, he introduced the States’ Water Rights Act, legislation that was attached to the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) designed to bar the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from charging a storage fee for water drawn from the Missouri River reservoirs. Versions of WRDA passed in both the Senate and the House, and a joint conference committee is now working to reconcile the two versions of the bill.

The meeting continues ongoing discussions Hoeven has held with the Army Corps regarding its plan to restrict access to the Missouri River and charge for storage at Lake Sakakawea.