"Flood Threat Builds Next Year"

"NEW MADRID, Mo. -- After record flooding this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faces an epic repair job on the nation's decades-old flood defenses in the Mississippi and Missouri River basins, and it's already clear that the work won't be completed in time to protect some areas from even run-of-the-mill flooding."

"On the Missouri, where the corps is hurrying to drain its upstream reservoirs to make room for next spring's flood season, damage is still being done. But on the Mississippi, where the flooding ended months ago, the corps' multibillion-dollar restoration of levees won't be done by spring.

"We may have a flood of less significance having catastrophic impacts until we get this system back together," said Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh, commander of the corps in the Mississippi Valley. Last week, he got an earful from farmers here in southeast Missouri whose fields were intentionally inundated in May for the first time since 1937 to spare areas elsewhere.

The corps recently said it would rebuild the levee it destroyed, but 11 feet lower for now—to avoid putting strain on other levees that still need shoring up."

Jack Nicas And Joe Barrett report for the Wall St. Journal

SEE ALSO:


"Congress And the Corps: Budget Cuts May Slow Levee Rebuilding" (St. Louis Beacon)

"Blunt Worries About Levee Funding" (Kansas City Monitor)

"Missouri River Governors Criticize Army Corps for Flooding" (ENS)

Source: Wall St. Journal, 08/23/2011