Farmer: Corps plans no changes in 2012 flood plan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is holding meetings along the Missouri River to discuss this summer’s flood problems and its plans for next year.
Leo Ettleman is spokesman for a coalition called “Responsible River Management.” Ettleman describes the meetings as “frustrating” and says while Corps officials are listening, they aren’t planning any changes.
He says the Corps looks at 2011 as a “500-year event” and they have no reason to change their management plans over one such event, so he says they will manage the river in 2012 just like they have in the past.
Ettleman says any changes to the Corps’ Missouri River operating plan will have to come from Congress.
He says that means there is no funding in the plan for flood recovery to build the levees back to the 100-year protection that they were.
Ettleman lost two-thirds of his 2,300 row crop acres near the western Iowa town of Percival to this summer’s flooding. He says it left a tremendous amount of debris.
“We have sand deposits probably, anywhere from two foot to four foot deep, just waves of sand.. scour holes, we have scour holes anywhere from two foot to five foot deep, it’s tremendous,” Ettleman says.
Ettleman is concerned about a repeat of the flooding problems in 2012.
He says they are going into spring with a 25-year protection levee, if it gets finished,by spring, and “we’re going to be extremely vulnerable in 2012 and perhaps even beyond, it depends on when the funding comes in.”
Ettleman says because the number of people directly affected by the flooding is relatively small, it has been a challenge to make their voices heard.