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Mississippi River Flooding: Holding Back the Water
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2011-03-23 18:27:26

I am Lillian Voss, and I am 94 years old. I have lived at 4336 South Concord Street in Davenport for nearly 60 years. My house was built above the 100-year flood plain. We experienced all the major flooding along the Mississippi River these past years. My late husband, who died in 1994, fought very hard against the tactics of the Corps of Engineers regarding the water levels of the Mississippi River. With this new threat of major flooding and after reading the article in the Quad-City Times titled “River’s High Level Is a Natural One”, I feel I must come forward and again try to expose the tactics of the Corps of Engineers.

Do you realize the Corps of Engineers holds back the water on the Mississippi to artificially raise the river level to nine feet so that the barge traffic can operate efficiently? In holding back this water and not allowing it to escape, the river level is not far from the flood stage when the spring thawing begins in the upper Mississippi valley. This high level of water on the Mississippi makes the flooding in the spring considerably worse. Each spring when a flood is predicted along the Mississippi, I have a friend call the Corps of Engineers to ask them to fully open the dams to allow the water to flow freely and naturally. Each time I would ask, they would claim it would not make any difference if they did open the dams. Anyone could see that if you open the dams and allow the water to escape down the river, the water level would drastically drop. This would allow a cushion for drainage for the water coming down the river as the snow melts and the rains fall.

[Just Added: The Army Corps of Engineers' Jim Steinman with WOC's Dan Kennedy - March 25, 2011. Listen to 7 minute interview at the end of Lillian Voss' commentary, below.]

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