The U.S. House of Representatives today approved legislation that requires the Army Corps of Engineers to establish procedures to better communicate with the public when there is a high risk of flooding on bodies of water it manages, including the Missouri River. The provision, taken from legislation authored by Rep. Kristi Noem, was included in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act.
"The flooding of 2011 along the Missouri River is a painful memory for many in South Dakota, and some are still dealing with its aftermath. What I heard from many of those affected and displaced during the flooding was if they had been given better notification on potential flood risk they could have more adequately protected their homes and businesses," said Rep. Noem. "The bill approved today by the House includes a provision that directs the Corps of Engineers to be prepared to communicate with the public more effectively in the future if, God forbid, South Dakotans ever experience flooding on that scale again."
Noem added, "I would also like to thank House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster for recognizing the need to improve communications from the Corps about flood risk and for including my provision in this bill. He visited South Dakota during the height of the flooding in 2011 to see the devastation first hand."
Chairman Shuster traveled to Pierre in August 2011 at Rep. Noem’s invitation. He participated in a public roundtable alongside then-Chairman John Mica and toured local communities, homes and businesses that had been damaged by the flood.