Flooding in Missouriby Senator Roy Blunt
Posted on 2016-01-12
BLUNT. Mr. President, I want to talk for a few minutes at the
beginning of my remarks about what the response to the flooding has
been in our State of Missouri. I was in St. Louis County with
Congresswoman Wagner on Saturday. I was in St. Charles County the week
before that. I was in Cape Girardeau following up on the work
Congressman Smith has done there. I was in St. Genevieve, Perryville,
Cassville, and Monette. If you know anything about the geography of our
State, those places are spread pretty far apart, but we had a flooding
situation that was almost totally generated in our State--different
from the floods we normally deal with--and the communities reacted with
very little time in an impressive way. The Corps of Engineers was also
there to help. The National Guard was there to do what they needed to
do. Now we see FEMA and the SBA stepping in to see who qualifies for
There was loss of life. More often than not, the loss of life occurred when somebody drove around a sign that said ``Don't pass this sign'' and then got caught in a situation they didn't anticipate or thought was less than it turned out to be. Some families clearly are grieving that loss of life. We had five international soldiers who lost their lives near Fort Leonard Wood.
[[Page S41]] Maybe the whole idea of a low-water bridge that you and I would be used to was something they hadn't thought about.
We had three interstate highways close--Interstate 55, Interstate 70, and Interstate 44. They were not all closed at exactly the same time but within somewhere between a 24- to 36-hour timeframe. We will have to look at that to be sure people don't lose access to where their kids are, where their jobs are, and where their health care is. The economic impact of that Interstate System that comes together in so many ways in Missouri shutting down is something that clearly, once we get beyond the immediacy of dealing with the flood itself, we need to look at and see how we can prevent that problem from happening again. I don't know of a time when any two of those highways were closed at the same time before, but I know Interstate 70 and Interstate 44 were closed at the same time, and it had a real impact economically on people traveling east to west or economic things happening east to west anywhere in the country.