Lt. Gen. Bob Flowers, who commanded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 2000 to 2004 and is now retired, tells a humorous anecdote about a Mississippi landowner in the mid-1990s who was especially impatient about a future flood-protection project. Flowers was commander of the Mississippi Valley Division and agreed to meet with him.
"We had just received authorization for the project, and I told him I would request an appropriation of $28 million, which would allow the Corps to proceed," he said. "The gentleman then reached in his pocket, pulled out his checkbook and wrote me a check for $28 million." Not wanting to become tomorrow's front-page news, Flowers wisely returned the check and explained the Corps' process for funding civil-works projects.