The Corps mission is to control flooding on the Mississippi River. Congress gave it the job after the great flood of 1927. The Mississippi River Commission (MRC) holds two public hearings in Mississippi every year at which anyone can comment or "testify" on how well the Corps is doing its job.
Bigger Pie Forum's chair Kelley Williams has testified at several hearings. His testimony notes that Mississippi's batture and backwaters are flooding more frequently and longer and that major floods are more frequent. It attributes this to the Corps plan adopted in 1928 and suggests that the plan is outdated and needs to change.
Private landowners, farmers, timber companies, oil operators, mineral owners, other private citizens and representatives of county government have testified as well. Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann testified on behalf of the state.
The 2019 flood has had a tremendous impact on Mississippi’s agricultural industry. Mississippi’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce – Andy Gipson presents the losses before the Mississippi River Commission.
Mississippi River Commission Testimony: Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann in Vicksburg August 2019
Concerns about the detrimental effects occurring in the Mississippi Sound due to the freshwater intrusion from opening the Bonnet Carré Spillway this year coupled with the USACE’s decision to not open the Morganza Floodway prompts Secretary Hosemann to urge the Corps. of Engineers to find alternatives to the current operation.
The engineering answer is simple. The politics aren’t. Here’s the story.
I think everyone here knows the Mississippi is flooding more. But you might be surprised to know that it’s the worst in 400 years. And that most of it is due to flood control projects. That’s right, flood control causes flooding. According to research published in Nature this month.
I appreciate your invitation to testify again. I will testify about backwater flooding at Vicksburg. It’s bad and getting worse — as others will attest.
I appreciate this opportunity to testify again. Last year I talked about flooding at our farm in the Natchez reach 20 miles above the Old River Control Complex. Today I’m talking about flooding in the Baton Rouge reach below Old River. I hope to show that ORCC can reduce the height, duration, and frequency of floods – and to persuade you that it should.