Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) have met with representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers and local community leaders to get a first-hand update on plans to deal with the swollen Missouri River, which has already begun spilling its banks in northwestern Missouri. In addition to the meeting, the Members of Congress toured areas along the river that were devastated by the record flooding of 1993.
"The Corps has already begun releasing water from upstream dams and reservoirs in the Dakotas," said Hartzler. "A lot depends on the weather, but the Corps and the National Weather Service are predicting the river will rise several feet above flood level at Jefferson City. That could be devastating for our farms, families, and businesses along the river."
"It's too early to say how high the water levels will rise," added Hartzler. "Brigadier General John McMahon told us that through the month of May a year's supply of rain had fallen in upstream states, raising levels and causing a need for this unprecedented release of water. We can just pray that the levees aren't breached and we can dodge the bullet on this potential crisis. While we can't control the rainfall in the upcoming weeks or the damaging levels it would cause, we can let citizens know that we stand ready to help in any way we can. My office and I will be keeping in close contact with the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, levee district members, and other agencies to ensure we have the latest information and can help anyone access the assistance that's needed."
Vicky Hartzler was elected to Congress on November 2, 2010. She serves on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.