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      Residents speak out on Plan H

      Residents of counties and towns along the Mississippi River had their chance to voice their opinions on the controversial flood plan called Plan H Wednesday, December 1st.

      Plan H is one of the alternatives the US Army Corps of Engineers has studied as part of the Upper Mississippi River Comprehensive Plan.

      It calls for a 500 year level of protection for most areas along the river.

      But there are some areas that would not get as much protection and would actually be used as a storage area for flood water from northern areas.

      Those areas are Pike, Lincoln and St. Charles Counties in Missouri.

      The US Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting to let people speak their minds on Plan H.

      KHQA's Jarod Wells was on hand to hear what they had to say.

      Clarksville, Mo. resident Bud Garrison said, "Our major concern about Plan H is it really doesn't meet the needs of all the towns, especially on the Missouri side, in terms of flood control."

      Pike Co., Mo. Associate Commissioner Curt Mitchell said, "We just don't want to something like that that will be destructive to our community. It probably would be very destructive to our tax base."

      Pike Co., Mo. Resident Jaime Aslin said, "I don't think that the plan is fair. They're putting all the levees north of us, dumping the water on us and I don't understand how they can value one livelihood more than another."

      Aslin said, "They should try to spread the water out more among the people. Everybody understands that something needs to be done. We choose to live by the river and work by the river, we know what the river can do, we've all experienced it. It's just that people need to take into consideration that everybody should share the responsibility if they choose to live and work by the river."

      Mitchell said, "There needs to be studies, serious studies done on the tributaries. You've got the Salt River, you've got the Cuivre River, you've got other streams and creeks that come into the river that will be affected drastically by this."

      Garrison said, "What we'd like to see is a plan that addresses the flood control for our communities as well as the ones that are specifically addressed in Plan H."

      Corp of Engineers Commander/District Engineer Colonel Tom O'Hara Jr. Said, "It is clearly acknowledged that there is a need to continue to tweek and modify that alternative as me move forward. Our hope is that we can continue to atleast acknowledge the overall need for that comprehensive plan so that we can move that forward and then continue with that refinement to balance and address some of the concerns. As funding becomes available for us we will incorporate in the concerns that are here to help shape the future studies and refinements of the plan."

      It's important to know that Plan H was not recommended by the US Army Corps of Engineers and it has not been funded by Congress.

      If you would like to learn more about Plan H and the Upper Mississippi River Comprehensive Plan, check out www.mvs.usace.army.mil or www.mvr.usace.army.mil

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