Federal flood control projects and navigation improvements in Mississippi will be funded by the State, according to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.
Senator Cochran yesterday reported that more than $400 million in disaster relief has been approved by Congress to address flood damage that occurred in the Lower Mississippi River Valley in the winter and spring of 2016.
According to Cochran, more than $30 million of this lower Mississippi funding has been identified for use in Mississippi on at least 23 different USACE projects to repair damages to levees, dikes and backwater improvements.
“Ongoing assessments of flood control systems, ports and navigation on the lower Mississippi indicate extensive and corrosive damage from flooding last winter and spring,” Cochran said. “The strength of the Mississippi River levee system is measured by its weakest link. It was important that the Army Corps of Engineers has resources to ensure viable navigation and flood protection on the Mississippi and its tributaries.”
This $400m funding is provided through the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, Operations and Maintenance account and the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program.
The Mississippi River Commission assessed the MR&T system and determined that heavy rains and severe flooding caused by storms in December 2015 and March 2016 compounded the need for repairs already underway following the historic 2011 floods.
The Board of Mississippi Levee Commissioners, the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee Board and the City of Vicksburg are among dozens of flood control districts, levee boards and port authorities that supported emergency appropriations to accelerate repairs on the lower Mississippi River.
Overall, $1.02 billion is available to the Corps nationwide to repair damage caused by floods, hurricane and other natural disasters. This assistance is in addition to regular FY2016 discretionary appropriations enacted by Congress.
The Lower Mississippi River Valley generally stretches from southern Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico and includes the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois.