By the end of the week, the longest flood in recorded Missouri River history will be history itself. Next is the challenge of paying for recovery from the disaster.
From Montana through Missouri, floods and high water have caused billions of dollars in damage to levees, roads, bridges, homes, businesses, dams, and farms. Preliminary damage estimates are given in terms of hundreds of millions of dollars but until the water goes away, definitive numbers cannot be calculated. Once they are, what then?
That’s the big question for FEMA, the Corps of Engineers, and other disaster response agencies.
Brigadier General John McMahon, the commander of the Corps of Engineers Missouri River basin division, says people affected by the Missouri River Flood of 2011 will just have to get in line.
BG John McMahon :31 mp3
He says some funding requests are “in the mill” and are doing well in terms of getting seed money for assessments and early repair. He hopes enough money is available for levees to be rebuilt and other repairs to be made before the 2012 runoff season starting in March.