With damage estimates soaring and a long road to recovery ahead, the governors of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri are calling for significant changes in flood management.
Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri governors discuss severe flooding throughout the region from the Council Bluffs Police Department. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts Pete Ricketts, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and Missouri Governor Mike Parson met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA officials on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, to get an updated assessment of flood damage, look ahead on the Missouri River outflow, and identify regional solutions for flooding and levee repairs.
The met Wednesday afternoon with members of the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA to review the status of flood recovery and map out a direction toward critical improvements need to prevent this from happening in the future.
The three governors addressed reporters after their session.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said, "We need to look at this from a regional perspective." She said it needs to be addressed in terms of the short and long term response."
Governor Pete Ricketts said, "By the three of us being here it demonstrates how important it is for our states." He said, "We have to do something different along the river."
Ricketts said they asked to Corps to come back to them with some answers about how to avoid this from happening again.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said, "I think it's time we need some straight-up answers from the Corps." He said whatever options they come up with, "we need those options on the table."
"One thing is evident," Parson said, "something needs to change." He said, "We need to focus on doing something."
Parson said it might take more participation at the state level to make the changes needed. "First of all we gotta figure out what happened," in the latest round of flooding. He noted, "We're not out of the woods yet."
While he said it might take more state action he said this is not something they can do on their own. The federal government will have to contribute to a solution.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly had also been scheduled to attend the meeting. She had a late conflict but plans to participate in the ongoing discussion in the future.
Whatever plan evolves, the governors said this needs to be a cooperative effort. Gov. Ricketts said, "We want to be working together."
Another meeting similar to Wednesday's is scheduled in three weeks.