WASHINGTON, D.C. (KFVS) - Representative Mike Bost attended a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans meeting on Friday, July 12 where he discussed fixing the Len Small Levee.
Assistant Secretary Rickey “R.D.” James from the U.S. Army Civil Works and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were also at the meeting.
In the meeting, Bost explained that dozens of landowners and home owners can only reach their home by boat, and some can’t reach them at all because of the current.
He talked about the road closures; how two highways were submerged, causing significant road damage.
Bost said talked about the barges that traveled upstream and were sucked into the breach area of the levee. He also mentioned the river current ripped apart a tow boat and sucked several barges through the breach.
He called the levee breach a “hazard to navigation,” and said it’s no longer a threat, it’s real.
Bost went on to explain the rip-raff that was installed to prevent this was washed away. He said the levee doesn’t qualify because flood prevention benefits did not produce “a positive BCR.” He said he’d been working to fix this since the breach in 2016.
“This is a situation where common horse sense has flown out the window," Bost said. "We are looking at, and this is for the members of the committee, and on record if we don’t cure this problem and that cut occurs all the way across. Now, all of a sudden, because of the change in the river level over the 17 miles around that bend, now all of sudden drops that same level in three miles the navigation stops that will change the way we transport our goods whether it is for agriculture or anything else when we have to all of a sudden stop north of Cairo, transfer off of barges into trucks, take it south and move it that way. This is not a good way to do business. The American people can see this is an issue but unfortunately whether it is Congress or working with the Corps we can’t get this figured out. I’m looking forward to making sure we get it figured out and we get it fixed.”
Assistant Secretary James offered to meet one-on-one with Bost to address the issue.