OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — After this spring's massive flooding along the Missouri River, many want to blame the agency that manages the river's dams for making the disaster worse, but it may not be that simple.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says much of the water that created the flooding came from rain and melting snow that flowed into the river downstream of all the dams, and at the same time, massive amounts of water filled the reservoirs and some had to be released.
For instance, the National Weather Service estimates that enough water poured into the reservoir behind Gavin's Point Dam on the South Dakota-Nebraska border during nine days in mid-March to totally fill the reservoir from empty more than twice.
Many people who live near the Missouri River believe the Corps isn't doing enough to prevent floods or is placing too much emphasis on other priorities, such as protecting endangered species and preserving barge traffic.