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BOND TALKS TO FEDERAL AND STATE OFFICIALS ABOUT MISSOURI FLOOD DAMAGE
Senator Pledges to Help Communities Recover, Urges Administration to Cancel Spring Rise
COLUMBIA, MISSOURI – U.S. Senator Kit Bond today talked to federal and state officials about the floods and severe storms that have hit communities across Missouri.
“Federal and state officials are committed to helping communities across Missouri recover from this disaster,” said Bond. “As Missouri’s senior Senator I will continue to use my position to help Missourians rebuild and to secure funds that are critical to protecting our communities from devastating floods.”
After seeing first-hand storm damage in southeast and southwest Missouri, Bond received a briefing on the extent of damage and recovery efforts from officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), the Corps of Engineers and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT).
Bond thanked the hardworking volunteers working across the state to fight the flood waters. Also, Bond praised federal and state officials for working around the clock to help severely impacted communities. Just yesterday, President Bush declared more than 70 Missouri counties and the independent city of St. Louis as disaster areas, making them available for expedited Federal Disaster Assistance.
Also, Bond noted that FEMA, SEMA and MODOT are ready to mobilize damage assessments teams as soon as the water recedes. Once damage assessments are complete additional federal and state funds will be available for recovery efforts.
A senior member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, Bond stressed that he will fight to increase Missouri’s share of federal dollars for flood control projects to prevent the type of devastation. In the previous fiscal year Bond secured millions of federal funds for Missouri flood control projects in the Omnibus Appropriations bill.
For years Bond has tried to convince the floodplain activists in one Administration and budget hawks in another that floods are real and federal funding for flood control is needed. Lacking support in the previous and current Administration, Bond has fought to secure funds for these flood control projects through earmarks in Congress’ annual spending bills.
Despite the devastating floods, the Administration has only delayed — not cancelled — plans to trigger a man-made Spring Rise on the Missouri River to help the pallid sturgeon fish. Today, in a letter to the Administration, Bond asked for the ill-conceived Spring Rise to be cancelled. If the Administration move forward with plans for a Spring Rise farms, communities and private property downstream already under flood waters would be hit with even more water.
The text of Bond’s letter to the Administration is pasted below.
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March 21, 2008
The Honorable John P. Woodley, Jr.
Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works)
108 Army Pentagon
Washington DC 20310-0108
Dear Assistant Secretary Woodley,
This week Missouri has experienced an extreme flooding event that has ruined homes, damaged farm land and taken the lives of people and animals.
All things considered, it seems that the release of a Spring Rise is not only insensitive, but redundant. If a natural pulse has not done the job of a man made flood, I fail to see what we are working toward. Even if the Spring Rise is delayed, the people of Missouri will still not have enough time to repair their levees and homes before they get another rush of water.
I urge you to cancel the 2008 Spring Rise.
Senator Christopher S. Bond