We’re seeing something on certain social media posts that we don’t like.
Lots of people, commenting on Facebook or elsewhere, are concerned about the high water at Tuttle Creek Lake and the possibility that if the Corps of Engineers can’t resolve it the usual way — by letting water out of the tubes — they’ll resort to releasing water out of the emergency spillway gates.
That happened only one time, in 1993, and it was disastrous. Opening the spillway would flood much of the Northview neighborhood and other parts of town.
People are worried. They’re downright afraid. That’s understandable. Even though we’ve been assured that opening the floodgates is unlikely, it’s a threat hanging over us like a dark cloud.
In light of this, we’ve seen some people — more than a few, unfortunately — say things like, “Who cares about the people in Missouri?”
That’s one of the nicer versions.
Who cares about all the people downstream whose hometowns are also at risk of flooding? We should.
Many parts of the country including virtually every state that’s part of the Missouri River Basin are experiencing major flooding right now. We know how devastating that can be. We shouldn’t wish that fate on anyone, even if it would spare our town.
Releasing too much water from the dam wouldn’t just make the Missouri River run high; it would flood farmland and residential areas for 120 miles of “bottomland” along the river near Waverly, Missouri, a key gauge Tuttle Creek officials use to make decisions about outflows.
As we reported in a story in Wednesday’s edition, these decisions are the reason for a federal entity like the Corps of Engineers. Corps officials work together, consider conditions within the whole system and follow established rulebooks to choose what to do. That, we hope, will help keep the most people possible safe as we weather this widespread flooding crisis.
Let’s not resort to ugly sentiments wishing other people ill. That’s not a good look for Manhattan.