Why is the Meramec River flooding again? - KMOV.com

Why is the Meramec River flooding again?

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Low-lying  roads are covered in flood water in Sunset Hills, Missouri on May 1, 2017. Flood waters from rivers across the state of Missouri are forcing officials to close roads and people to move.  So far 350 roads have closed.  Bill Greenblatt/UPI Low-lying roads are covered in flood water in Sunset Hills, Missouri on May 1, 2017. Flood waters from rivers across the state of Missouri are forcing officials to close roads and people to move. So far 350 roads have closed. Bill Greenblatt/UPI
VALLEY PARK (KMOV.com) -

A major flood is taking place on the Meramec River for the second time in just fourteen months.

The reason another flood is taking place is not just the rain, but also because the river has no reservoirs. A plan to build a reservoir along the Meramec River was in the works for decades but was eventually abandoned.

Photos: Spring flooding strikes St. Louis area | Mobile users click here

"The Meramec doesn't have any reservoirs," explained Russell Errett, with the Army Corps of Engineers. "It's a natural setting so the only line of defense there are levees, so a lot of time [there is] flash flood and localized flooding."

Starting in the 1930's the Corps got approval for a dam and a system of reservoirs in the Meramec basin. By the 1960's funding had been secured and even some work started in the area. But opposition grew from the environmental movement in the 1970's from people wanting to protect the free flow of the river with public outcry turning against big dams around the country. 

Read: Record-setting flood occurring along Meramec River; more rain falling

By the late 1970's a public vote effectively killed the corps' plans on the Meramec. The Army Corps says getting a dam and reservoir system there now seems very unlikely. 

The Army Corps says they are not planning to prevent future catastrophic floods on the Meramec, but they're working with other agencies to prepare for more.

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