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Local flood plain expansion is wrong

Sunday, May 6, 2012

All too often, actions by the federal government simply leave you scratching your head. Take this week's example of a new flood plain map for Sikeston that puts much of the prime ridge land in our community in a new flood plain designation.

The implications of this new federal designation are costly.

But the real issue is that the new designation is about as dumb a decision as you'll find.

The feds periodically update and upgrade their flood plan maps. That much makes sense.

But the new maps out now show that much of Sikeston - approximately from Dudley Drive north between North Main and Ingram - is now is a flood plain because of potential water pooling.

But for those who have monitored flood waters, no one can remember when any of this new ground was prone to flooding.

The new designation has huge financial implications for those who hope to develop that prime ground.

And the decision is patently wrong.

Now before we panic too much, let me say I firmly believe this odd decision will be reversed.

But that is not the point.

As it now stands - another example of federal stupidity - our community would first have to approve the new flood plain designation and then file a protest to amend the new map and exclude the new areas.

That's right - first approve something with which you disagree so that you can then seek to reverse that which you just approved.

Does any of this make sense?

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson is now involved and is working to rectify this mistake. And a number of homeowners and developers who would be impacted are lending their voices of disapproval.

Sikeston is not alone in this new federal decision. Other communities are also up in arms because of this federal over-reach.

But when the storm clouds disappear and common sense returns, it still leaves you scratching your head on how the federal government could designate an area that is at least 20 feet above the flood plain into this new category.

And on one final note. To do this survey of flood plain territory, the feds flew a plane over Sikeston with instruments on board that would measure the elevation. Not one federal worker stepped foot into the area in question nor sought any background before making this decision.

Join me in a collective head scratching.



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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen