1943 Floods Energize River Control Promoters
A series of three enormous and destructive floods in spring and summer, 1943 triggered a basin wide outcry to harness and control the Missouri River. Never before had political and business interests from the river’s upper and lower basins engaged to cooperatively champion river control projects. Dam-building advocates in the upper basin found themselves allied for the first time with commercial navigation and flood control interests in the lower basin. The common goal: Subdue and control as much of the river system as possible. The floods of 1943 damaged downtown districts in many riverside communities, including Sioux City, Omaha, and Kansas City. 1.8 million acres of floodplain farm land in numerous states was inundated. Six lives were lost. The photo shows flooded farm land south of Omaha, Nebraska.