Representatives from Cole and Callaway counties proposed updating risk area maps, increasing levee elevation and reinforcing dikes as possible solutions to regional flooding during a Thursday meeting.

Held over video conference, the meeting was the third of four consultations planned by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to gather feedback from residents of six counties affected by recurrent flooding in the Lower Missouri River Basin.

“We want to hear from you what are the advantages and disadvantages of the different ideas we have for solutions,” Director of the department's Water Resources Center Jennifer Hoggatt said in the meeting.

Around 40 participants discussed a number of possible alterations to the Cole Junction, Renz, Capital View and Reveaux levees, all affected by last year's historic flooding that led to damage in the region. Opinions were gathered on widening the top of the levees, reducing slopes on their upper ends, running analysis to look at overtop locations and reinforcing designated overtop points.

Also, they urged to update current maps for tributaries of the Missouri River, as they also are prone to floods and cause damages in houses and public areas.

Last year, Missouri River flooding overtopped more than 100 levees across the state, led to the closure of around 470 roads and affected 1.2 million acres of farmland, according to the department’s records. In response, the governors of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska formed a joint flood protection program in November. The department’s consultations are part of that program — the fourth and final meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 10, focused on Montgomery County.

“We want to bring people into the discussion. We want to give everyone a chance to reflect what our states are doing together and understand that,” said Dru Buntin, deputy department director for the Natural Resources Department.

Residents of those counties can send thoughts and ideas for the project to floodrecovery2019@dnr.mo.gov.

State reporter, fall 2020, studying data journalism and interested in tech and new media. Reach me at adrianosanchezj@missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

  • State reporter, fall 2020, studying data journalism and interested in tech and new media. Reach me at jax5c@missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

  • Galen Bacharier is an assistant city editor at the Missourian. He has reported on higher education, state government and breaking news. Reach him at galenbacharier@gmail.com or on Twitter @galenbacharier.

  • Mark Horvit is the state government editor. Call me at 817-726-1621 with story ideas, tips or complaints.

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