Yes, right now the priority needs to be sandbagging and levee building….but when the waters recede what can we learn from this?
In my life as a Senate staffer, I learned that it never hurts to take a swipe at the Corps of Engineers — they work as well as anyone for a punching bag — and I’m pretty well convinced that all the Master Manual said was — Screw the Upstream States. But taking political swipes for political swipes sake can only make you feel better for a short time. Ask the people in Pierre, Ft. Pierre, Dakota Dunes, Yankton and other river towns how much political sniping helps them.
I find it hard not to look at the information that was available…record snowfall and such and not think that there should have been actions taken sooner…more water released earlier, levees built sooner, more inmates filling sandbags sooner… but would all that something have made a difference even to one family or business? Maybe it’s too early to know. But the questions should be asked and those being impacted by the flood waters deserve answers.
The old commercial used to say “It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.” But when she’s been sending telegrams about what she’s up to it’s pretty hard to say she’s the only one responsible. We might not be able to change her — but we can change the policies and folks charged with managing the river.