Studying the Missouri River to avoid another 2019 flood


Studying the Missouri River to avoid another 2019 flood

The Army Corps of Engineers is studying how to reduce flooding risks to agriculture land along the Missouri River.

Colonel Travis Rayfield, district commander for the Kansas City District of the Army Corps of Engineers, tells Brownfield Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri are developing a plan to improve the river’s resiliency after crops, livestock and business were destroyed by the historic 2019 flood. “We’re going to build a big computer model that’s going to look at water elevations from Rulo, Nebraska to St. Louis within the Kansas City footprint. Those water elevations will give us the opportunity to find out where things aren’t quite aligned the way we want.”

He tells Brownfield they’re conducting several comprehensive studies to reduce recurring damages and improve problem areas. “We’ll partner locally to look at where we want to do what we call a spinoff study to actually do an implementation of a structural solution or nonstructural solution. Structural meaning making levees higher or realigning them. Nonstructural meaning making wetlands.”

And, he says, they’ll combine results from those studies and put that into “a big computer model that’ll measure the hydrology or hydraulics – how water moves from point a to St. Louis and that model will inform us how we move ahead.”

He says it will likely take at least five years to complete the studies before submitting the results to Congress.