Southeast Missouri Congressman Jason Smith says the Missouri River needs the infrastructure that the Mississippi River has to prevent severe flooding. Smith’s district includes more than 200 miles of the Mississippi River which he says was at flood stage for 150 days this year, between Cape Girardeau and Cairo, without activation of the levees.
“You look at the effects of the flooding that we had south of Cape Girardeau and it could have been SO much worse than it was but it was because of the infrastructure that was brought forward through the MRT project, the Mississippi Rivers and Tributaries project,” says Smith.
That project was authorized by the flood control act of 1928 after devastating flooding in 1927. Smith says Missouri’s Bootheel showed the country how to manage a river.
“We drained our swamps. And those seen Bootheel Counties, after we drained them, now produce more than a third of all the ag commodities of this entire state,” he says.
Smith, a Republican, says fixing the Missouri River will benefit Missouri farmers.
“If we have that on the MISSOURI River, you can see a phenomenal step in our navigation, in getting our richest commodities from Missouri to feed the world. And, to help our farmers, help our commodity prices,” he says.
Smith says the Missouri Congressional delegation will work to make sure the Missouri River management is about flood control, not about environmentalism. Gov. Mike Parson continues to meet alongside his fellow governors in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska with the Corps of Engineers officials with that very goal.
Smith made his comments at the Missouri Farm Bureau Building at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.
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