Army Corps of Engineers leadership discusses this year’s releases, next year’s plans The Bismarck Tribune, of North Dakota reports.

Joe Herring on American Thinker here , has already written an indepth article on this subject.
In it he writes about, “The Purposeful Flooding of America’s Heartland”,

 Whether warned or not, the fact remains that had the Corps been true to its original mission of flood control, the dams would not have been full in preparation for a “spring pulse.” The dams could further have easily handled the additional runoff without the need to inundate a sizeable chunk of nine states. The Corps admits in the MWCM that they deliberately embrace this risk each year in order to maximize their re-ordered priorities.

it bears reviewing in light of the corps’ most recent meeting detailed by Mr. Bjorke in the Bismarck Tribune linked article below in which the Army Corps of Engineers leadership skirts around the responsibility for the flooding of the Missouri River system and then passes the responsibility for policy off to Congress.

I believe it is that policy of altering priority for flood control that put “natural pre-dam / pre-levee  system restoration”  above flood protection and economic development for the 10 million people in and affected by the Missouri River basin.

Several statements are cavalierly made in the latest article that do not indicate any remorse or concern for the results of following their policy for handling snowmelt  and rainfall releases.

Farhat said that leading up to this, spring releases from Garrison were higher than usual, but it is difficult to run releases high in the winter.

“There are are constraints on what Jody can release in the winter months,” said Brig. Gen. John McMahon, commander of the corps’ Northwestern Division.

Ice can cause dramatic rises while it is forming on the river, and the corps’ strategy is keep releases low until the freeze begins and then slowly step up releases as spring approaches, Farhat said.

The corps leadership also addressed how it handled its forecasting in late May when peak releases were repeatedly upped from 75,000 cubic feet per second to 150,000 cfs over the course of a few days.

How the corps manages its reservoirs is dictated by various congressionally authorized purposes, including irrigation, navigation, electricity generation, recreation and fish and wildlife management. Flood control has precedence over others, but its management of reservoirs must take other uses into account.

“I still believe there is a great public constituency behind each of these purchases,” Ruch said.

McMahon said the corps is authorized to adjust its yearly operating plans, but changes in its master manual must be authorized by Congress.

Even if the corps drastically overhauls its reservoir management system, there will still be risks posed by times of extreme weather, such as 2011’s record-breaking precipitation.

“You’ll never eliminate all the risk inherent in levees and dams,” McMahon said. “It’s very wicked problem set.”

Interesting that he puts it that way, “very wicked problem set.” Why did he use that phraseology, does it mean that he indeed sees what the policy is doing to the 10 million people in this zone?

Senator  Roy Blunt Missouri, called the management plan “flawed” and “poorly thought out”, so will he follow through and see that the policy is changed? Let’s hope the 70 appointed members of the Missouri River Commission will be pressured to make sure there is not a repeat of this preventable series of floods and damage to property and livelihoods.

Go to this link;
Posted: Friday, July 15, 2011
for the article written by CHRISTOPHER BJORKE,  at Bismarck Tribune

Bottom line for me?

People take 1st place before any environmental restoration. 


One thought on “Army Corps of Engineers leadership discusses this year’s releases, next year’s plans The Bismarck Tribune, of North Dakota reports.

  1. Economics is something I've never been very good at… and maybe this is why. I think I try to hard to find a solid basis for it, maybe?….and there isn't one. Could it be as simple as that?


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