COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Governors are forcing their way into the conversation to prevent a disastrous flood from happening again.
Governors Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, and Mike Parson of Missouri aim to work as a region to help flood victims now. They want to be a part of the conversation with the Army Corps of Engineers to prevent flooding along the Missouri River. After two catastrophic floods this decade, the governors say it's time to make prevention their priority.
"We need to look at this from a regional perspective," Iowa governor Kim Reynolds said.
"We have to do something different along the river," Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts said. "This is not going to be acceptable for us to continue experiencing these flooding episodes."
In a meeting with the Corps of Engineers, the governors say they want to collaborate in managing the river.
"I think the states will have to take more of a role in the management of the river and the Corps is going to have to work with us from a different perspective from what we've done in the past," Governor Parson said.
A chart from the Corps shows the Omaha District Levee Status. Almost completely red, it shows at least 40 levees were breached along the Missouri River. Governor Ricketts pointed out one of the biggest breaks.
"I think this one in particular is four football fields long," Governor Ricketts said. "[The Crops] emphasized the kinds of breaks in the levees they got this time around are much bigger in scope than it was in 2011."
Governor Parson said the group of state leaders asked that the Corps comes back with options to prevent flooding and what governors can do on their end.
The governors say they would take this conversation as far as Congress, the White House, or other administration to manage the river.