To The Editor:
The main purpose of Meramec River Dam was flood control, but on Aug. 8, 1978, voters stopped construction as the main portion of the dam was underway.
Today, such a dam would have controlled flooding on the Meramec River, and we would not have experienced a 92-year and an 84-year flood in about two years on the Meramec.
The Meramec River Dam was to impound 42 miles of the Meramec River, 9 miles of the Courtois Creek and 12 miles of the Huzzah Creek to form Meramec Park Lake. This 180-foot-tall structure was to consist of earth fill and impound a 23,000-acre lake. Construction work can be found in Meramec State Park, Sullivan.
This funded project, under construction by the Corps of Engineers, became highly controversial. Several groups opposed the dam, including the Sierra Club, because endangered species would die and a number of caves would be partially or fully flooded.
During the fight over the dam, both sides exaggerated and twisted their points in public meetings.
To this day strong pro-dam sentiments are held among residents of Sullivan, Leasburg, Cuba and Steelville because of flood control and business the dam would have brought to these communities.
Maybe those flooded out of their homes and businesses would like to have a dam holding back floodwaters?