Rep. Noem introduces flood-related legislationU.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., on Thursday introduced the Army Corps of Engineers Communications Accountability Act, legislation meant to improve communication between the Army Corps of Engineers and the public.
By: News release, Office of Rep. Kristi Noem
U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., on Thursday introduced the Army Corps of Engineers Communications Accountability Act, legislation meant to improve communication between the Army Corps of Engineers and the public.
The goal is to avoid the consequences experienced in South Dakota during last year’s floods. By requiring the corps to provide public notices when runoff is expected at high levels, the legislation seeks to ensure residents have ample time to prepare for potential flooding.
“Too many South Dakotans watched in horror as rising floodwaters invaded their homes and businesses last year; some were displaced for months, others lost almost everything. While we can’t control the weather, we can improve our ability to prepare and respond to it,” Rep. Noem said in a statement.
Every year, the corps assembles an Annual Operating Plan of possible runoff scenarios into the Missouri River system, such as a median scenario, an upper quartile (upper 25 percent) scenario and upper decile (upper 10 percent) scenario. This legislation would require the corps to make a public announcement within seven days if it’s determined runoff will be at or above the upper runoff scenarios. The bill also gives authority to state, local and tribal governments to request a consultation with the corps once the public announcement has been made that shall be provided not later than seven days after receiving the request.