Judge blames Army Corps of Engineers for Midwestern flooding

Judge blames Army Corps of Engineers for Midwestern flooding
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A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the Army Corps of Engineers was responsible for recurring flooding in four states that caused more than $300 million in damages.

The ruling by Judge Nancy Firestone states that flooding in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa "was caused by and was the foreseeable result" of the Army Corps of Engineers's management of the Missouri River, The Associated Press reported

The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed in 2014 that argued that the Corps deprived people of their land without compensation, and that, beginning in 2004, the Corps began putting more emphasis on restoring ecosystems for threatened and endangered species.

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In turn, the lawsuit argued, the Corps focused less on the issue of flood control. 

The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for managing the Missouri River's system of dams and locks, and determines when to release water from reservoirs into the river.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit — a group of hundreds of farmers and landowners — demanded after Firestone's ruling that the Corps make flood control a top priority for the Missouri River, the AP reported.