Two state senators have been very vocal in saying Missouri should take the federal government to court over flooding in the state this year.
Senator Jim Lembke of St. Louis says when the Corps of Engineers blew up the Birds Point Levee, it took away property from Missourians and livelihoods from farmers. He wants federal money to pay for the damages caused when the Mississippi breached that levee, and wants the Birds Point levee restored to its full height. The Corps has said it will rebuild that levee to 51 feet temporarily, with plans to restore it to the original level of 61 feet when resources become available.
Senator Kurt Schaefer adds, he feels it is the Corps’ management of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers that lead to flooding along both. He says the state should sue, particularly if the Federal Emergency Management Agency seeks 25% of the costs for damage response from Missouri, as would be standard practice. Senator Schaefer says it would be wrong for the state to pay the federal government for damage costs it caused.
Senator Schaefer says he has talked to the Attorney General’s Office, which has confirmed it is reviewing the state’s legal options.
The Corps of Engineers is now publishing an electronic newsletter to share information on its work to rebuild the Birds Point Levee to the interim level of 51 feet. To subscribe, send an e-mail to: [email protected]