Federal and state agencies hope a more cooperative effort emerged from the Midwestern floods of last year; an effort that will help communities recover sooner.
Missourians remember the widespread and devastating floods of 1993 and 1995. Northeast Missourians remember being hit hard last year when floodwaters in Iowa traveled down the Mississippi and swamped towns along the way.
Federal and state officials have been meeting ever since that devastating flooding of a year ago, attempting to find non-structural approaches to flood management.
"So that if there was an area that could be taken out of danger and homes re-located if necessary and the floodplain managed in a way that it would minimize risk to people and property, then we were going to try to do that," according to Bob Anderson with the US Army Corps of Engineers .
The Corps, the Federal Emergency Management Agency , the Natural Resources Conservation Service as well as other federal agencies have been meeting with state agencies from various Midwestern states for the past 11 months. The regional Interagency Levee Task Force held its final meeting in St. Louis, though there is talk of continuing the effort to bring various agencies together to not just prepare to fight flooding, but to help devastated communities recover.
Anderson says the task force is focusing on non-structural approaches so it can combat flooding other than building more and higher levees. He says everyone working on the task force understands that whether federal or state, they all need to work better together.
"That’s one of the things we’ve really been working on this last year to improve, just communication, sitting down together and saying, ‘Well, let’s look at this as a total package rather than as individual agencies,’" says Anderson.
Anderson says cooperation is vital in helping communities wrecked by flooding recover.