WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) was in Atchison and Holt Counties to survey flood damage and receive briefings from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and county officials. He released the following statement after viewing the damage:
“The flooding in Northwest Missouri has been completely catastrophic for a lot of families, farms, and local infrastructure. For more than 15 years, I have said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ river management plan is not the right plan for Missouri. After seeing the damage today, it is clear that plan needs to be looked at. The Corps should be prioritizing flood control, navigation and drinking water. Environmental concerns are a part of that discussion, but the priority should always be on protecting people and property.
“The most immediate need we have now is to rebuild levees and move forward on other recovery efforts. Our farms, highways, energy plants, and small businesses are essential to our economy and ability to compete. We need to get them up and running as soon as possible. I appreciated hearing from local members of the Corps, and Holt and Atchison County officials. I will continue working with the state to make sure federal support is available where it’s needed and there are no federal hurdles holding up recovery efforts.”
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Blunt worked to ensure Missouri is eligible for disaster funding included in the emergency funding bill introduced earlier this week. The bill includes more than $3 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to repair damage to farmlands, rebuild infrastructure and rural community facilities, and provide assistance for crop losses in states affected by flooding and other natural disasters. The bill also provides funding to the Corps of Engineers to repair waterways infrastructure.