U.S. engineers contributed to Missouri River flood damage and must pay landowners

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An appeals court has not only upheld a 2020 order for the federal government to pay landowners along the Missouri River for years of flooding, it’s also requiring the government to cover crop losses and damages from the devastating floods of 2011.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sided with landowners who sued in 2014, arguing that the federal government violated constitutional protections against taking property without just compensation. The lawsuit says the Corps of Engineers caused recurrent flooding after changing how it manages the Missouri River’s flow to prioritize protecting endangered fish and birds.

Attorneys for the landowners expect the government to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

More than 370 landowners in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri are currently represented in the lawsuit.


June 23, 2023