Lincoln County, Mo. - Many people can readily recall the flood of 1993 and the devastating impacts it had on the local areas. The flood destroyed agriculture, cost over $20 billion in economic damages, destroyed more than 50,000 homes and resulted in the loss of 38 lives. It has been described as the “most devastating flood in modern United States history”.
Today, the Mississippi River and its tributaries in Lincoln, Pike and St. Charles counties are a continual source of flood problems. The Neighbors of the Mississippi is a group advocating for the nearly 500,000 residents residing in these areas and is seeking to provide a comprehensive flood control plan along the Upper Mississippi River. They are working to gain support and approval from Congress to conduct an inclusive and comprehensive study that would provide information on current flows and impacts of the Mississippi River.
The group is holding a meeting on Nov. 10 to discuss flooding issues for Pike, Lincoln and St. Charles counties. Representatives from all three counties will be in attendance, as well as engineers, the Neighbors of the Mississippi Board of Directors and state representatives. They will be discussing the importance of conducting a flood plan that will include all counties and advocate for the residents of the affected counties.
The study could result in a blueprint for an equitable, inclusive and comprehensive river management plan. The plan would include the future development of dams and infrastructure, boat traffic, river cities protection, levee protection and other equitable and inclusive flood plans for the whole region.
The goal of this study is to ensure that homes, businesses and farms have a plan for flood control. The flood of 1993 is a 50-year flood, meaning it has a two percent chance of happening in any given year. Additionally, floods in 2013, 2016 and 2017 have also been listed in the National Weather Service’s “Top 10 Historic Crests in St. Louis”.
Pike, Lincoln and St. Charles counties are at-risk areas, and are also experiencing rapid population and economic growth. This means that more businesses, homes and people are at risk of experiencing extensive flood damage. Severe floods, like the flood of 1993, could be devastating to these areas.