Monday, June 13, 2011
Going under on the Missouri
Here is the Missouri River at downtown Omaha on Saturday evening (above).
At right, here's the Missouri River at the same spot downtown as it was May 29.
But it's during the coming week, forecasters say, that the real water will start to hit the Omaha area. By the time the Mighty Mo stops rising sometime in the next month or two -- barring any big rains -- we're supposed to have 4 to 6 feet more water than this.
And it's supposed to stay that high all summer.
Can the levees withstand that much water for that long -- and levels above flood stage maybe until winter? No one knows; the Missouri River flood-control system never has had to withstand such a test.
WILL SOME TOWNS around here, particularly on the Iowa shore, go under? It's a distinct possibility.
Are we already having levee problems in spots? Unfortunately, yes we are.
Do I have confidence in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which built the flood-control system? Not since 2005 . . . I'm originally from Louisiana.
And in these parts, the feeling quickly is becoming widespread.
Do I think Levees.org -- the New Orleans group that's emerged as one of the chief watchdogs over the Corps -- should send somebody up here to take a look and have a listen? I think that would be useful both for us and for it, yes.
DO FOLKS who live on the bottomlands along the entire length of the Missouri need your thoughts, prayers and assistance now and for the foreseeable future.