Iowa Department of Natural Resources

(Des Moines) -- Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials are asking for public input in studying problems and solutions to Missouri River flooding.

DNR officials are working with officials from four states and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the comprehensive study of the 2019 flooding, which impacted a good portion of KMAland, and to develop a flood risk management plan. Tim Hall is the DNR's hydrology resources coordinator. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Monday morning, Hall says the historic nature of the 2019, coupled with other incidents, prompted the joint study.

"As you know, we saw significant flooding in a number of recent years along the river," said Hall. "We just want to figure out if there's a way to identify areas that are really problematic. We've had flooding in 2011, 2019, 2010, and we want to try to figure out where the problems areas are, and prioritize those, and allow the corps to provide some data on what the solutions might be."

DNR officials are kicking off the study's first phase by releasing a short introductory video. That's followed by a series of virtual meetings with stakeholders in July.

"We'll have a series of virtual meetings, listen to the stakeholders, talk about where those problem areas might be, collect a list of those, talk about what the potential solutions might be," said Hall. "We're going to take our list of prioritized areas, and we're going to submit that to the corps, along with Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri, so that the corps can have a comprehensive list of problem areas along the river. And, not problems areas that we think are a problem, or that the corps thinks are a problem, but the people who live along the river think are problem areas."

Hall says it's important to hear from residents still affected by last year's disastrous flooding.

"You know, the folks who have been affected by flooding--not just this year, but repeatedly in the past," said Hall, "they're the ones who have the best insight as to what's going on along the river, and where the problems might lie. It's critical to the success of this planning project to get that information from the stakeholders, so that we can hear from them where they believe the problems lie, so that we can direct the corps to do their investigative efforts and analysis in the areas where the people who are affected think the problems are, not where the DNR and the corps thinks the problems might lie."

Once problems are identified, the information gathered and analysis completed will be documented into a flood risk management plan for the entire lower Missouri River, which can be used at the state and local levels to help inform flood risk management decisions moving forward. Anyone wishing to participate in the study should email tim.hall@dnr.iowa.gov. You can hear the full interview with Hall on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.