Nearly three years later, victims of flooding in Siouxland want action.Tuesday night, people throughout the region met with representatives of a Missouri law firm to learn more about a possible lawsuit against the Army Corp of Engineers, a lawsuit stemming from the devastating 2011 Missouri River Flood.
When the Missouri River flooded, Siouxland, like many other areas, was heavily affected.
"We had 500 acres that was under water all summer long. A lot of damage to the land, crop loss, irrigation equipment destroyed, so yeah we had quite a bit that was affected," said Scott Olson, a farmer who says he's a victim that continues to feel the effects of the flooding on crops."We had about 250 acres underwater some of it up to 10 foot deep and it took us probably about close to 2 years to get some of the sand removed," echoed fellow farmer Mark Poulousky when asked if his land was damaged. Two years is just the start of a slow recovery.
It could take up to 10 years for damaged land to fully recover, which is why Scott, Mark and many others are learning about a pending class action lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers
Led by the Polsinelli Law Firm, farmers and land owners claim the engineers caused the damage when they tried to regulate the water release through the Gavins Point Dam and several others.
Army Corps officials said they followed protocol and didn't anticipate the increased rainfall and slow mountain snowmelt, but people gathered in Dakota City say that excuse isn't good enough. Ultimately, the farmers we spoke with say the damage has already been done, but that the Army Corps of Engineers should take responsibility for its actions. "You know, I realize, yeah there was a lot of water up there but they could have been releasing water earlier and it could have been avoided, I really think so," said Poulousky. "The Corps needs to take some responsibility for the million of millions of dollars that they have damage- of damage that has been done up and down the river, the livelihood, the homes the businesses that lost. There's just millions of dollars that's been taken out of the heartland of America from what they did," said Olson, who has been spreading the word about these public meetings with the law firm.
The Polsinelli Law Firm wants to meet with more potential clients and will hold another public meeting Saturday, February 8th at Central Court in Blair, Nebraska.
If you have a story you want to tell or an incident you think needs to be investigated, our reporter Beairshelle Edmé wants to hear about it.BEdme@siouxlandnews.comfacebook.com/beairshelle.edme OR twitter.com/BeairshelleKMEG