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Army Corps of Engineers signs off on flood resiliency study in Jefferson City

This is the third approved spinoff study of the lower Missouri river and the second in mid-Missouri.

Posted on November 30, 2022

Representatives for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state of Missouri signed a cost-sharing agreement Monday to push forward a flood resiliency study in Jefferson City.

The goal of the Jefferson City FCSA Missouri River Flood Risk and Resiliency Study will be to find localized solutions that can best help mitigate flooding from the Missouri River in the Jefferson City area, near river mile 142. Missouri will split the cost of the study 50/50 with the Corp of Engineers. The last major flooding in Jefferson City was in 2019.

“We all in this room have seen the stress, damage and devastating flooding that can occur when you’re next to a beautiful river like the Missouri River,” Col. Travis Rayfield with the Corps of Engineers, said.

Col. Rayfield and Dru Buntin, the director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, signed the first formal step of the partnership Monday. The localized study is a spinoff of the larger Lower Missouri River Basin System Plan between Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. In past KOMU 8 News reporting, Col. Rayfield said each study costs around $3 million.

“It’s taken us a while to get to this point, but I think we’re optimistic about where we’re headed and what it symbolizes,” Buntin said. “We’re not seeking just to shift the impacts of these floods on someone else, we’re seeking to develop projects that will lessen those impacts.”

The first step of the study will be collecting perspectives from landowners, business owners and stakeholders in the area. The state and Army Corps are pairing up with MU to conduct these interviews.

“The state’s not going to come in and say it’s going to be a super levee or it’s not going to be a super levee,” Buntin said. “We’re here to provide technical and financial support to plan for a resiliency project in Jefferson City. It’s incumbent upon us to make sure we’re involving everyone.”

Col. Rayfield said it will take about three years to complete the study. He said the study will document if there is federal interest and pitch to Congress how flooding impacts could be reduced. This is the third approved spinoff study of the lower Missouri river and the second in mid-Missouri.

“The Missouri River is a wonderful resource and a hazard,” Col. Rayfield said. “It takes all of us to shape that future on the Missouri river.”


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