Friday, June 24, 2011

Missouri River flooding: Army Corps of Engineers manager answers the question on everyone's mind: 'You saw the snow, why didn't you release more?'

2011 USDA photo of Missouri River flooding
UPDATE: Even Rachel Maddow and the New York Times are starting to worry about Ft. Calhoun... Video of the torrent of water now being released every second at Gavins Point Dam...

Matt Bunk, publisher and editor of the Great Plains Examiner, conducted the first post-flooding, one-on-one interview with Jody Farhat, the Army Corps of Engineers' chief water manager for the Missouri River reservoir system, who said her agency was bound by federal regulations to make sure water levels were high enough during the spring to supply a range of needs.
If we were only managing for flood control it would be easy. We would just drain the reservoirs,” Farhat told the Great Plains Examiner on Friday. “But there are many interests that want us to hold water for all the things the water supplies … and Congress doesn’t give us a bye on any of them. Regardless of whether it’s a high-water year or low-water year, we are supposed to provide water for all of the authorized purposes.
     The way Farhat explains it, the flood that has displaced thousands of homeowners along the river this year was the result of a wild rainy season and strict requirements to do things by the book. The master manual that guides the Corps of Engineers’ water-management decisions requires special considerations for flood control, navigation, water supply, water quality, hydropower, irrigation, recreation and fish and wildlife. The document, last updated in 2004, is intended to help the Corps of Engineers balance all of those sometimes-conflicting objectives.
     The problem is the book didn’t account for the possibility of record-shattering amounts of rain in May. It also didn’t account for estimates that showed higher-than-average snowpack in the mountains to the northwest. So, neither did the Corps of Engineers’ water managers – until it was too late.
(Via The Reader)


  1. "It's not our fault! We just did what the book said! We didn't want Congress to spank us! We work for the government for hell's sake-----did you expect us to think too?!"

  2. Since government employees cannot think, they always hire consultants to do that kind of dirty work for them... Expect the consultants to be hired any day now so that the government employees will be prepared for all that extra snow due to global warming...!
    It comes from the top down...
    Obama employes 'blue ribon panels' to try and manage this country, because his ability to think logically and with reason is diminished by his agenda...!

  3. How selfish can you be? Defending yourself trying to point fingers? It was the Corps of Engineers FAULT. MISTAKE. As in COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED. It must be nice to go home where you grew up or where you raised your kids and rethink those memories. Or even walk into your house and it smells like home, I will NEVER have that feeling again. So lay your head down easy tonight, I will lay mine not at where I call home.