Hoeven to Corps: Prevent Flooding Along Missouri River in North Dakota, Keep Public Informed on River Levels

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John Hoeven today called Col. John Hudson, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District, to discuss the Corps’ flood management plan for this spring. Hoeven expressed concern for the downstream flooding, but emphasized to Hudson that the Missouri River water level is already high in North Dakota and that the Corps needs to take steps to ensure that there is not flooding in the upper reaches of the Missouri River. 

Hudson told Hoeven that Fort Peck, Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe all have 85-90% of their flood storage capacity available, so while the river level is high to keep the ice moving, there is adequate capacity to prevent flooding in the north. 

“I spoke with Colonel Hudson to ensure that the Corps responsibly manages water levels along the Missouri River in North Dakota, but also to press them to keep the public informed of their actions throughout the spring runoff,” said Hoeven. “We understand the Corps’ challenges with flooding downstream, but we want to ensure they prevent flooding upstream in the Dakotas. Colonel Hudson indicated that the river level is high as they work to keep ice moving, but there is adequate storage capacity in the reservoirs to prevent flooding in North Dakota.”

As a member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to include a measure in the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water funding bill that pressed the Corps to implement a soil moisture and snowpack monitoring program to help mitigate flooding along the Missouri River. Hoeven has also worked to prevent future disasters and advance recovery efforts following flooding along the Missouri River in 2011, which included significant impacts in the Bismarck-Mandan region.