Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today applauded inclusion of his language transferring the operation and maintenance of the Memphis flood control system to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Water Resources Development Act during a markup Wednesday. The proposal is consistent with the Corps' Mississippi River and Tributaries Project management of other flood control systems in the lower Mississippi River Valley that protect communities from devastating flooding.
Memphis is currently the only city along the Lower Mississippi River that owns, operates and maintains the structural systems that provide protection from Mississippi River floods.
Memphis' flood control system includes 17,089 feet of flood wall, 5.5 miles of levees, 27 enclosures, and seven pumping stations along the flood backwaters of the Mississippi River-Wolf River-Nonconnah Creek Backwater Flood Control System. These flood control structures protect some of the city's most cherished assets, such as the world-renown St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Bass Pro Shops flagship facility at the Pyramid, a major Tennessee Valley Authority power plant and many large industrial operations as well as major interstate railroad facilities.
Congressman Cohen spoke in favor of the measure during today's mark up. See those remarks here.
After the language was approved, Congressman Cohen made the following statement:
"Protection against flooding is a national priority and should be handled as a national responsibility. I'm pleased the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee agrees that this responsibility should be borne by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, not the City of Memphis. This is consistent with the Corps' approach to flood mitigation elsewhere along the Lower Mississippi, and ensures flood control efforts and expenses fairly reflect national priorities."