Local leaders are dismayed by a federal judge’s ruling Tuesday that disallowed Missouri River system flood damage claims in 2011 in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.
The judge ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was not responsible for causing recurring flooding that damaged farms and property along the Missouri River that year.
The judge did rule however that the Corps is liable for flooding in five of the six years that flooding occurred, dating back to 2007, but disallowed the flood claims in 2011, which was the year the worst damage occurred.
Donna Forker, Finance Director with the City of Sioux City, says 2011 is when the city incurred the greatest flood expense:
OC……….offset some of that. :18
The ruling says the government must compensate farmers, landowners and business owners for the flood damage in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska for the other years, which was estimated to exceed $300 million.
South Sioux City Administrator Lance Hedquist doubts his city will see any of that money:
OC…….on the surface. :17
Hedquist says his city incurred no damage in those years, but did in the 2011 flood:
OC……….to the city of South Sioux City. :18
South Sioux lost numerous trees to the flood, which left behind tons of sand and silt in the flooded area:
OC…………since then. :22
More than 300 farmers, landowners and business owners argued in the lawsuit filed in 2014 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that the Corps has altered its practices regarding the river’s water storage, release and flow management.
Donna Forker says she believes the case will remain in litigation for years to come.