Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Along with another day of rain in the Kansas City area, water levels continue to rise across Missouri, causing flooding and dozens of road closures. While southern and eastern Missouri continue to experience serious flooding the Kansas City area has not seen much impact. 

The closest flooding to Kansas City has occurred on the Missouri River at Napoleon about thirty miles east.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's Woodswether Terminal on the Missouri River has seen the last of its barge traffic for the year. Port KC reopened the public port in 2015 (it closed in 2007), and it looks as if 2016 has been a successful year.

The Army Corps of Engineers only guarantees enough water for navigation from April 1 to the end of November. Last year was an unseasonably warm winter, so the Woodswether Terminal had cargo moving in and out by barge as early as February. 

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

This spring, there's new life on the Missouri River - and it's more than buds on trees or fish in the water. 

Barge traffic may be on the verge of a renaissance.

At least that's the hope of Port KC, which reopened the Woodswether terminal in the West Bottoms last year. The facility, currently the only public port operating on the river, is receiving barges for the first time since 2007. 

Kenneth L. Kieser / Missouri's Great Flood of '93--Revisiting an Epic Natural Disaster

Twenty years ago this summer, monsoon-like rains, unseasonably heavy snowfall and unusual air pressure patterns combined to cause massive flooding across nine Midwestern states.

47 people died. Tens of thousands were forced from their homes, water inundated 75 towns and destroyed millions of acres of farmland. Damages were estimated at $20 billion dollars.

I covered the floods for NPR in 1993, and went back to revisit some of the people and places affected by what’s still called The Great Flood.

A powerful flood

In 2011, the Army Corps of Engineers faced infrastructure issues, farmland destruction and reservoir management challenges as it dealt with the aftermath of the flooding. Runoff and drought forecasts for the summer show decreasing drought levels across the Midwest plains and increased soil moisture levels. (See here for more predictions from the Missouri DNR.) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Kansas City District produced a good summary of the problems they faced with the flooding and drought of 2011-2012. The Corps also had to defend the maintenance and management of the river’s infrastructure after the 2011 floods.

The Confluence / Flickr

As Mississippi River levels continue to drop, leaders from the river navigation industry sent a letter to President Obama asking for an emergency declaration. 

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

The Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a new chute at Jameson Island designed to protect the pallid sturgeon and other native fish species.