Mo. flood control meeting Wednesday night

Story by Brent Engel

A group thatâ??s fighting for a more equitable flood-control plan on the Mississippi River has new officers and a new resolve.

Neighbors of the Mississippi say that after two recent legislative visits in Washington, theyâ??re more determined than ever to sink a proposal known as Plan H.

The next Neighbors meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Winfield High School.

The group says more study is needed before levee districts north of Pike, Lincoln and Saint Charles counties are given the federal green light to build taller berms, and claim Plan H flood would leave large parts of the three counties vulnerable to high water.

Elected as the new chairman of the group was Andy Burkemper of Lincoln County. Vice-chairman is Clarksville Mayor JoAnne Smiley, who recently discussed opposition to Plan H with lawmakers in Washington.

Thousands of Missouri residents and dozens of state officials, including Governor Jay Nixon, have signed petitions against Plan H or voiced opposition to it, and a resolution against it has been introduced in the Missouri legislature.

Supporters say Plan H is the best and least costly method of preventing the kinds of floods seen in 1993 and 2008.

Opponents have blasted Plan H as nothing more than a way to turn thousands of acres of Missouri into holding basins for floodwaters as areas to the north are protected.