The Corps of Engineers has hired an independent technical review panel to look at how it managed the Missouri River reservoirs both before and during the flood of 2011.

The Northwestern Division has selected four people for the group that will look at the way it operated the six main stem reservoirs on the River:

  • Bill Lawrence, Hydrologist in Charge with the National Weather Service
  • Darwin Ockerman, Hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey
  • Cara McCarthy, Senior Forecast Hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service National Water and Climate Center
  • Neil Grigg, PhD, Professor at Colorado State University

Michael Swinson with the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division says the team will review whether the decisions made by the Corps fell under the Missouri River Master Manual. It will also question whether the Corps could have prevented or reduced damage from flooding by taking any different actions, whether long-term regulation forecasts accounted for main stem runoff and whether climate change played a role in this year’s record runoff.

The panel will begin its work October 4 and is expected to complete a report by December 2.