Flood victims and Federal authorities come together

Carroll County residents impacted by persistent flooding connected with state and federal officials during a work-study meeting Nov. 6. The meeting was intended to help residents break through bureaucratic logjams that have slowed recovery from the floods of 2019, according to a press release from State Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, who facilitated the meeting.

Local residents frustrated with what they say is a slow response from federal authorities were able to air their concerns and seek ways to accelerate repairs to damaged levees in Carroll County. Participants in the discussion included local and state officials, Congressional and U.S. Senate staff members and representatives of federal agencies, including FEMA, USDA, SEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

The meeting focused on efforts to repair damaged levees within an eight-county region. Local farmers and other residents are anxious to begin repairs on the levees and are willing to perform the work themselves, but have been stymied by federal regulations and find themselves waiting for the USACE and other agencies to greenlight the effort. During the meeting, participants discussed ways to streamline the process and proceed with repairs before winter storms and spring thaws bring more flooding to the region.

“We had a productive meeting with stakeholders and local officials today,” Sen. Hoskins said. “A tremendous amount of knowledge was gained, and the discussions that ensued will also be beneficial to other affected counties across the state as we continue to fight and recover from the 2019 floods. I know these challenges are not just in Carroll County, but in many other parts of my Senate district as well. It’s my hope that the input from my constituents will encourage positive interaction between my Senate district and federal agencies as we move forward.”

Breaches in at least three major levees along the Grand and Missouri rivers during the floods of 2019 caused rising water to inundate farmers’ fields and low-lying areas of Carroll County. Initial estimates suggest that more than 65,000 acres of Carroll County farmland were taken out of production and floods displaced more than 50 area families. There are more than 95 miles of levees within Carroll County. Statewide, Missouri has 323 levee systems, which protect more than 2,000 miles of river shoreline.