Army engineers are studying what to make of the Missouri River's new flood watermark.
"Is it an anomaly, or is climate change changing our weather patterns so that we'll spend more time on the extremes?" said Jody Farhat, chief of the Army Corps of Engineers' water management office in Omaha.
"Will we have longer, deeper droughts and bigger, more extreme flood events? That's the real question. Are we going to get other years like this?"
Farhat said corps engineers will determine how much flood-control storage would have been built into the reservoir system had it been designed today.
The flip side of the question requires the nation to decide the best course of action, Farhat said.
"Is it worth trading the other annual benefits provided by the system to prevent a catastrophic loss? I know that people who suffered that loss say 'Absolutely, yes.' I agree," she said. "But it's a big question.
"It's going to be hard."
Contact the writer: