Sand Bags and Nuclear Power Plants Don’t Mix

The levee breach today near Hamburg, Iowa is only the beginning of the story. What do you need to know concerning the flooding of the Missouri River?

The Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant sustained a fire last week and is now under emergency status “due to imminent flooding from the Missouri River”. On June 7, an electrical fire at the plant resulted in the plant’s evacuation and the NRC has confirmed a loss of cooling for the reactor’s spent fuel pool as a result. The following account outlines this nuclear plant surrounded by sandbags and the hazards facing it.


The six dams along this river are filled to capacity and in some cases, reaching the end of their expected life cycles. If the Fort Peck dam fails, the consequences will be worse than the tsunamis in Japan as the following article details.

Expert Warns Missouri River Could See “Flood of Biblical Proportions”

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – An expert on Missouri River reservoirs is sounding a very loud, very urgent warning about the chance of catastrophic flooding this summer.

Bernard Shanks, an adviser to the Resource Renewal Institute, says the Fort Peck Dam and five others along the Missouri are already full with the Army Corps of Engineers releasing record amounts of water to prepare for snow-melt and heavy rain up-river.

As a guest on KMOX’s Total Information AM Wednesday, Shanks was asked what he fears will happen should the Fort Peck Dam fail and set off a chain-reaction.

“There would be a flood like you’ve never seen,” Shanks told hosts Doug McElvein and Debbie Monterrey.  “It would be literally of biblical proportions.”

He foresees a very real threat of “chest-high” water in St. Louis before summer’s end.


The last article concerns a buyout from the Army Corps of Engineers for land on the Missouri River. As the Corps is on the verge of releasing the largest volume of water in its history, I have to ask what do they know that they are not telling us?

A Few Notes on Missouri River Flooding

A DTN customer who lives on the Missouri River bottom forwarded a letter sent June 6 by the Corps of Engineers office in Kansas City to landowners along the river. The letter informed landowners that the Corps has the authority to buy land along the Missouri River to restore fish and wildlife habitat losses resulting from construction, operation and maintenance of the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project. The Corps was asking all landowners outside of a levee if they are will to sell the property, or would consider easements for fish and wildlife.

In other words, the Corps is offering buyouts.

Beyond the thousands of acres of crops, we have a lot of agricultural development on the Iowa side of the Missouri River, south of Omaha/Council Bluffs. There’s a two-year-old ethanol plant on one side of the interstate and a major Bunge soybean facility a few miles down the road on the other. Bunge also has been building a fertilizer storage facility there. I drove by yesterday and workers were hauling dirt to build a berm around the new fertilizer facility. Closer to Glenwood, workers last weekend were building a berm around a new John Deere dealership even closer to the river.

I was at a Corps meeting Tuesday night in Glenwood, Iowa, with about 699 of my fellow residents in which a Corps official explained we were seeing 135,000 cubic feet per second flowing down the river right now being released from the upstream dams.

On June 15, the dams go to 150,000 cfs.


I could not find any information concerning what the consequences will be once this flood water reaches the Mississippi River.

David DeGerolamo

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[…] reported previously, this facility is surrounded by sand bags as the Missouri River […]


[…] reported previously, this facility is surrounded by sand bags as the Missouri River […]