From today’s RCJ:
When in doubt, blame the corps. (emphasis added)
It’s a popular mantra for people in Missouri River country.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has long been an easy target for criticism, justified and otherwise, for Missouri River management policies that rarely satisfy everyone and often enrage somebody.
And in South Dakota, there is no time like the present to lash out at the federal agency charged with managing flows on a river that has already chased thousands of people from their homes in Pierre, Fort Pierre and Dakota Dunes and racked up more than $10 million in state costs, including $1 million for sandbags alone.
The only one not falling in line is Senator Tim Johnson….but I predict he’ll come around.
I think this latest round of increased releases will be a the tipping point — politically — hopefully not with the levees. The Corps never mentioned that Oahe could go above the 150,000 cfs. That was always believed to be the max release rate — which is why the levees were constructed to meet that cfs….so it’s no wonder the Corps can now look forward to an investigation from Gov. Daugaard. Congressional inquiries will not be far behind….and I’m predicting all three of SD’s congressional reps will sign on….not really fortune telling — just the inevitable brought on by the Corps action — which many will characterize as arrogant.