The US Army Corps of Engineers says it’s launching an independent investigation of how the Corp handled the flood of 2011. The Corps has been under intense criticism for the flooding. The Corp admitted it was forced to release record amounts of water from its Upper Missouri River basin storage areas. The flooding swamped seven states bordering the Missouri River, including Kansas and Missouri.
“This team will help shed light on whether there is anything we could have done differently to prevent this year’s flood and provide us with recommendations for improving future operations”, said Witt Anderson, the Director of programs for Northwest Division.
Earlier this year officials in heavily damaged Holt County Missouri in the northwest part of Missouri accused the Corps of “devastation by design”, for how the Corps handled the flood. At one time, resident were considering printing up t-shirts that said, “Corps-trina”
In a news release, the Corps said, “As part of post-flood assessment efforts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division, has enlisted the assistance of experts in hydrology and/or dam and reservoir system operations and maintenance to review, analyze and assess the Corps’ operation of the six main stem dams along the Missouri River leading up to, and during the Flood of 2011.
The review panel members are:
• Bill Lawrence, Hydrologist In Charge (HIC), National Weather Service
• Darwin Ockerman, Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey
• Cara McCarthy, Senior Forecast Hydrologist, Natural Resources Conservation Service
National Water and Climate Center
• Neil Grigg, PhD, Professor, Colorado State University”
The Corps continues to be criticized. Several members of Congress, including many from Missouri are co-sponsoring a bill in Congress calling for reforms in how the Corp operates.
Wednesday, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt added to the criticism. He said the corps “is taking a gamble” by not increase storage space in the Upper basin so it can accommodate the waters of 2012. Blunt says he told the Corps they were not taking enough steps to protect the region from future flooding.