Surrounded by more miles of shoreline than the entire state of California – over 1,100 – Missouri’s Third District is home to beautiful views, an abundance of activities for water lovers, and critical water resources for not just our state but the entire nation. Along with great opportunities for Missourians, these many miles of shoreline also come with their challenges making our district no stranger to flooding and water issues.
While 2020 brought more than its fair share of challenges, fortunately Mother Nature was a bit more forgiving with Missouri’s flood season than in years past. But the stark reality is that our state will at some point undoubtably face another devastating flood season, like 2019, and it is one of my most important duties here in Congress to make sure the Third District is equipped with every resource and safeguard possible.
Every two years, Congress reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) in order to update our water infrastructure. WRDA is an opportunity for members of Congress to advocate for their district’s water-specific needs, and since the Third District is home to Lake of the Ozarks and bordered by the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, WRDA is always a major priority for me. This year, I was proud to get several Third District priorities included in the bill that passed the House on Tuesday.
The first provision, the Upper Mississippi River Comprehensive Plan will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to work with local stakeholders to create a comprehensive flood management plan for the communities along the Upper Mississippi River. The plan will help these communities better prevent and more effectively deal with flooding. Another provision I worked hard on is the Lower Missouri Basin Flood Risk and Resiliency Study which will help identify flood risk areas along the Lower Missouri River Basin so we can begin safeguarding the communities and resources in the area.
The Lower Osage Feasibility Study is an important step toward authorizing and funding construction for desperately needed flood protections along the Lower Osage. For farmers on the Osage flood control is the deciding factor of whether a year will be profitable. It’s not an exaggeration to say their livelihood depends on improving our water infrastructure. And finally, the Tri County Levee District Land Conveyance will slash unnecessary red tape in Montgomery County and finally return part of the levee back to the county to streamline future repair issues. All these provisions are products of years of work and conversations with local officials and stakeholders to figure out the most effective ways to protect our community.
Flooding and water issues are a part of life here in Missouri, and while we can’t stop the storms from coming or the snow from melting, as your Representative I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure this district has the necessary support and protections. This year’s WRDA legislation will help our high-risk areas become better prepared, better equipped, and better adapted for future flood seasons, and I look forward to seeing a speedy implementation of these provisions here in the Third District. I know our local leaders, landowners, and workers are certainly ready to get started.
CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter and Instagram.