Friday, governors and representatives from eight Missouri River states will sit down with the Army Corps of Engineers to talk about historic summer flooding. It's flooding, many say, the Corps could have prevented had it acted sooner.
Gov. Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa says, "This is the worst flooding we've had." And, the longest-lasting according to governor Terry Branstad. Gov. Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa says, "It's been going since June. And, it'll be late September or October before people get back into their homes and businesses."
For Branstad the fault lies squarely with the Army Corps of Engineers. Gov. Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa says, ""Unfortunately it was about June when they really started to release all of this water. Had that started back in March, maybe that could have mitigated it. Clearly it should have started sooner."
His frustration is clear... so is his mission. Gov. Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa says, "We want to make sure this doesn't happen again." That's why governors, and representatives, from eight Missouri River states, will meet with the Army Corps of Engineers on Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa says, "I want to make sure that Corps gets its focus on primary mission being flood control."
Branstad says flood control is the reason the dams were built in the first place. But, "...over the years that's been diluted."
Before flooding even started, Branstad wrote a letter to the governors of Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri, asking if they'd like to form a coalition of downstream states... fearing the Corps favored upstream interests over flood control. Gov. Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa says, "But, South Dakota and North Dakota got hit hard too. I don't know that there has to be a differential between upstream and downstream."
Branstad hopes the flooding has given every state one goal. Gov. Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa says, "I'm hopeful that, out of this, some dramatic changes in the way the Mo River is managed." He wants a commitment from the Corps that flood control comes first, no matter what its "master manual" says. Gov. Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa says, "I learned a long time ago as governor when you have a disaster to get there, make the best judgment you can, and make the best decision you can. Not wait."
The governors of the Missouri River states will meet with the Army Corps, in Omaha, tomorrow morning. Chief photographer Tia Heidebrecht, and anchor Matt Breen, will be there and have complete coverage on KTIV, and on-line on www.ktiv.com.