Agency that manages river dams defends actions

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Officials at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say flood control and protecting human life are their top priorities anytime flooding is imminent along the Missouri River.

The Corps' John Remus says the agency that manages the dams along the Missouri River could not have prevented the flooding along the river this spring because of the large amount of water that flowed into the river downstream of the dams.

But critics of the agency say the other priorities for the river, such as protecting endangered species, seem to work against flood control.

Farmer Leo Ettleman said the Corps should have made significant changes to its operating manual after the historic 2011 floods, but neither the Corps nor Congress took action.

Ettlemen says the kind of flooding the area saw this spring will continue unless changes are made.