WASHINGTON (WMBD) — Several Illinois members of Congress are supporting legislation to improve flood protections along the Mississippi River.

According to a news release from Congressman Eric Sorensen (D-IL), the bipartisan Upper Mississippi River Levee Safety Act would give local levee districts along the upper Mississippi more flexibility to maintain their systems and allow them to better prepare for floods.

“I’m proud to work across the aisle to advance this bill that protects our region from the impacts of flooding along the Mississippi, supports our agriculture industry, and helps keep people safe,” Sorensen said. “As the only meteorologist serving in Congress, I know how devastating the impacts of extreme weather can be to families, neighborhoods, and property.”

Currently, the policies of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers restrict the local operator’s ability to adjust levee heights, which makes it difficult to respond to rainfall or flood conditions.

The new legislation would modify the policy language to make it easier for districts to respond to the weather to prevent flooding disasters.

Sorensen introduced the act with Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL), Congressman Mike Bost (R-IL) and Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL).