Public hearing planned for Plan H

A plan to control flooding along the upper Mississippi River is not popular with people in Pike County, Mo.

That's because their land would be set aside for flood water storage if Plan H takes affect.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has scheduled a meeting to explain Plan H to farmers and flood prone areas south of Ralls County.

KHQA's Jarod Wells explains why flood control up river can mean flood damage down river.

"Plan H will put large levees north of Pike County (Mo.) on the Missouri side and the Illinois side," said Bob Kirkpatrick.

Bob Kirkpatrick is the County Clerk for Pike County, Missouri. He says Pike, Lincoln and St. Charles Counties all share the same concerns regarding Plan H.

Kirkpatrick said, "If Plan H is actually passed and implemented, they'll have large levees and our levees, only 11 of the 22 are going to be allowed to be raised in the three counties, but 11 of them will not be allowed to be raised and because of that we'll be storing flood water for everybody else."

Which is not what river towns like Clarksville, Missouri want to hear.

Clarksville Mayor Jo Anne Smiley said, "We had experience with a levee across the river from us and we know the impact of raising a levee, what it can mean in the change of the river when flood time comes."

Kirkpatrick said, "It will significantly reduce our farming in these areas and whenever you lose farmers and farm land you lose business, you lose the taxes from that business that help support all your different public entities and so that's a concern to us."

Kirkpatrick and people from counties and cities like Clarksville along the river want to meet with the Corps of Engineers and voice their opinions. They also want more studies done on what would happen if Plan H is adopted.

Smiley said, " I'd like to see some kind of consideration given to these 3 counties as was given to the counties in Plan H, to the areas involved in Plan H, in terms of a study of what the impact will be and how it can be averted or avoided."

We also spoke to Mike Klingner who is Vice Chairman of the Upper Mississippi Illinois and Missouri River Association.

Klingner said, "Plan H is to convey a major flood event, like the 93 flood, through the valley. There are certain areas that are restricted and other areas where there's plenty of room for both sides to have improvements."

Klingner said there were several areas south of St. Louis that had similar concerns about Plan H. Some adjustments were made to the plan after those concerns were voiced. Klingner is hopeful a similar outcome can happen with these areas north of St. Louis.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, December first starting at 4:00PM.

It will be held at the KC Hall in Old Monroe, Missouri, that's in Lincoln County.

The US Army Corps of Engineers will take questions and hold an open discussion forum.