U.S. Rep. Bost continues fighting for levee repairs - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

U.S. Rep. Bost continues fighting for levee repairs

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ALEXANDER COUNTY (WSIL) -- On Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Mike Bost stopped in Olive Branch to talk with farmers and see barges stranded in a farm field. 

He said he was taking pictures with his cellphone as a way to collect what he called "more evidence" of the problem. 

"Every time that I've had discussions with the Army Corps of Engineers, lower level people that say, 'We don't believe we have a navigational problem.' Really?" asked Bost. 

Six barges were sucked through the breach more than a month ago, and according to Congressman Bost, other river traffic has almost had the same fate. 

He calls the breach a world commerce problem because goods transported down the Mississippi River end up in New Orleans where they are shipped around the globe.

"With a navigational problem like that, the expense to those people trying to move those products is tremendous," said Bost. 

For that reason, he believes the breach should be more of a priority for Congress. He is once again attempting to get money put aside for the repairs in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). 

"Our goal is to try to either get them to use existing language, to come up with a sensible cure as fast as possible, or we are stuck to try to go ahead and fight in 2020 to put that language back in WRRDA again," said Bost. 

He's hoping the pictures he took will change the minds of the Army Corps of Engineers and lawmakers in Washington, D.C.. 

"This can't wait any longer. Even if we have to draft emergency legislation, if that's what we have to do, maybe this will be the leverage that we need," said Bost.

Before the Congressman visited the barges, he held a round table with Alexander County farmers to talk about possible resources to help with flood recovery.

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