Washington – U.S. Congressman Sam Graves has asked the Corps of Engineers to slow down their plans to release record amounts of water from upstream dams later this month. In a phone call Tuesday evening to Brigadier General John McMahon, Graves expressed his concern that the water being released upstream will likely result in significant flooding in Missouri.

“Everyone understands that the Corps has to release water,” said Graves. “However, the volume set to come downstream right now will amount to a man-made natural disaster. I want to find out if there is any extra capacity that can be used upstream.”

The problem began last year with record snowfall and was made worse this spring by heavy rains in the upper basin. By mid-June, record flows on the Missouri are projected to increase to about 150,000 cubic feet per second. The amount of water in the Missouri River will likely top several levees throughout Missouri. Graves said he wants the Corps to take a second look at all their options.

“The answer is not to simply release more water and create larger floods downstream,” said Graves. “The impact on farmers and landowners all along the Missouri is going to be tremendous if they carry out this plan. I am urging the Corps to hold as much water as possible upstream.”

Graves did not get an immediate answer from the Corps on whether they will reexamine the situation.

Information from the Office of Sam Graves