© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Some Mo. senators want feds to pay 100 percent of flood damage costs

Levee breach in Atchison County, Mo., on June 13, 2011.
(Photo courtesy of Atchison Co. Emergency Management)
Levee breach in Atchison County, Mo., on June 13, 2011.

The federal government should pay 100 percent of the cost of flood damage in Missouri – according to some members of the Missouri Senate.   

Normally, the feds pick up the tab for disaster response and later bill the affected state government 25 percent of the cost.  State Senator Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) says Missouri should not have to pay, since the floods in the Show-Me State were the federal government’s fault.

“(They) want us to pay 25 percent of a bill that (their) management decision, how (they) manage this river, contrary to how we thought the river should be managed, caused the total in the first place," Schaefer told the State Senate Interim Committee on Natural Disaster Recovery.

Flooding in northwest Missouri resulted from the Army Corps of Engineers releasing record amounts of water into the Missouri River from the Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota, and in parts of southeastern Missouri after the Corps blew up Bird's Point Levee along the Mississippi River to protect the town of Cairo, Illinois.

"(A) discussion needs to be had on what was reasonable management, and what will be reasonable management in the future as well, so that we don’t have this happen again next year," Schaefer said.

Schaefer and other senators have asked Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) to look into the issue.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.