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Federal officials say US Army Corps shouldn't be blamed for major flooding on Missouri River

Missouri River Flooding Lawsuit-1.jpg

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2011 file photo an ear of corn sprouts new growth in a flooded corn field near Tekamah, Neb. The federal government says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shouldn't be blamed for causing major flooding along the Missouri River. The government filed its initial response June 19, 2014 to a lawsuit more than 200 landowners filed in March. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)The Associated Press

The federal government says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shouldn't be blamed for causing major flooding along the Missouri River.

The government filed its initial response last week to a lawsuit that more than 200 landowners filed in March.

The federal lawsuit claimed landowners should be compensated for the extensive damage they experienced — particularly during the extended 2011 flooding that devastated hundreds of thousands of acres of mostly farmland in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.

Landowners say the government is putting less emphasis on flood control while deciding how to manage Missouri River reservoirs because of efforts to restore habitat for endangered species.

Government lawyers filed a 56-page response Thursday denying the allegations.

The lawsuit is likely to take several years to resolve.

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