On July 18, 2019, Governor Parson signed an Executive Order creating a “Flooding Recovery Advisory Task Force” (FRAWG). The FRAWG is tasked with submitting a report to the Governor about the “state’s short-, medium-, and long-term flood recovery priorities and feedback on the state’s current levee system.” The draft report is due to the Governor by December 2019. You can watch videos of past meetings, read notes, or find out when the next meeting is taking place by visiting this website: https://dnr.mo.gov/floodrecovery/
Based on the task force members appointed by the Governor, we are very concerned that the interim report is going to ask for more of the same: more and higher levees. MCE and allies wrote a letter to Governor Parson requesting representation for recreation, conservation, and environmental groups to provide a balanced set of recommendations to the Governor.
In the end, no recreational, environmental, or conservation groups were appointed to the working group.
While we do not have a formally-appointed seat at the table, MCE attended all of the public meetings of the FRAWG and provided comment during all of the public comment periods. In those public statements, we talked about the importance of using non-structural solutions as one of the many tools in our tool belt when tackling the complex issues of flood risk management and disaster preparedness. We shared information about how constricting the river has led to increased intensity and velocity of flooding. We also expressed strong concerns about how the impacts of climate change are making this already-obsolete system even more dangerous and costly to maintain. We expressed support for presentations made regarding levee setbacks, like the one already in place in Achison County in NW Missouri.