‘Why Not Just Flood The Upstream States?’

During yesterday’s daily Corps of Engineers briefing, a television reporter from Omaha, Neb., asked why the Corps doesn’t just let the upstream states flood. I swear I heard some faint laughter after that question. However, she said that many viewers had been asking it.

It just goes to show the importance of perspective. I suppose on some level it makes sense to downstream interests to flood the upper reservoirs (which they probably note are less populated and, of course, therefore less important. Usually, they’re begging the upstream interests for more water for transportation interests. Funny how times change.)

Well, Col. Robert Ruch, the commander for the Omaha District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, pointed out the folly of that line of thinking given the current circumstances.

“It is pretty clear that we are managing to a razor’s edge at the top of our floodgates right now,” he said. “If we get into a situation where we get water to the top of the floodgates, the flows would pass without our regulation. At that point, you would be set up for whatever nature sends your way.”

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