(Nebraska City) -- An upcoming meeting in Nebraska aims to gather information from stakeholders on flooding along the lower Missouri River.
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources will host the meeting -- both in-person and virtually -- Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. The meeting is part of an ongoing project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and natural resources officials in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. Tim Hall is hydrology resources coordinator with the Iowa DNR. He says the purpose of the meeting is to gather input from those who live, farm and work along the river.
"We are in the midst of a project with those other three states and the Corps," said Hall. "What we're trying to do at this stage of the project, is to collect as much input as we can from stakeholders -- residents, farmers, businesses -- that exist and flourish along the Missouri River to try to help us determine where we should focus our efforts for future improvements and studies."
Hall says the project was initially started following historic and prolonged flooding throughout the lower Missouri River basin in 2019.
"The Corps of Engineers had some money available and wanted to focus on the lower Missouri to try to determine if there are ways we can minimize flooding problems," said Hall. "They reached out to the four states and that's kind of how the project got pulled together. Each of the four states is contributing staff time and resources, as is the Corps. We're trying to all work together to look at the lower Missouri River and try to focus on ways we can improve the river conditions between all the four states."
As part of the project, each state will host a series of meetings to gather information. Hall says stakeholders from any state can attend meetings in other states to offer input. Hall says Iowa has already held three virtual meetings and has gathered input from dozens of affected individuals.
"There will be ample opportunities -- both Wednesday in Nebraska City and also early in September -- for folks who want to talk about where they think problems exist for flooding on the Missouri River to come and talk to us, so we can gather as much good information as we can," said Hall.
Once meetings are finished, Hall says each state will prioritize suggestions for improvements along the river. He says they will be using the information to work with the Corps of Engineers to implement the improvements once funding is available.
"Ultimately, what we want to do is identify areas where we think there are solutions that could be implemented when funding is available to the Corps," said Hall. "We want to make sure they go out and address the most important areas first. So, some of this is in anticipation of some infrastructure funding through Congress. When that money is freed up, we want the Corps to be able to address the areas that are most important first and that's why they have turned to the states to try to collect that information."
For those unable to attend the Nebraska City meeting in person, you can attend via phone by calling (408) 418-9388 or through a WebEx Meeting. Meeting information can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.