Messenger: The Missouri River is a 'mad elephant' that won't be tamed by 'bigger and better' levees

Last week, Stokes, executive director of the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance, wrote letters to Missouri’s congressional delegation and Gov. Mike Parson, urging them to learn the lessons the river has been teaching us for decades.

Parson met with other river basin governors to discuss flooding recently, and many of those governors, such as Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, are calling for “bigger and better” levees.

That’s precisely the wrong solution, Stokes wrote.

“As we attempt to address the devastation caused by the flooding, it is imperative that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past,” Stokes wrote. “Calls to address the flood disaster by rebuilding levees even higher than they were previously and adding new levees onto our overly channelized river system are counterproductive and must be resisted. Massive spending on new dams and levees will make future floods even worse, not better.”

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