Before 1930 the Ohio River and it's tributaries would dry up by the end of summer and all cargo normally shipped by water would have to go by wagon. In 1929 then President Herbert Hoover dedicated 50 lock and dams on the Ohio River to offer year around commerce to the nation in the Ohio River and it's tributaries.
In the winter of 1937 the Ohio River flooded and the aftermath of it's devastation brought on the idea of flood control reservoirs which would also help cities during droughts with their water supply.
Those jobs were given to the Corps of Engineers since early experiences were prone to favoritism and cronyism.
Ronald Reagan was elected on the premise that government was too big and needed to be trimmed in size. In 1981 when Ronald Reagan took office he promptly eliminated Federal Jobs and cut spending in places where he could not cut jobs.
History tells us since 1980 that levees were not maintained; rivers and reservoirs were not dredged to proper depths to ensure flood control. The Corps of Engineers whose responsibility to maintain these functions just made do with the money they received. Projects were put on hold or never done.
So now a levee in Louisiana did not hold for lack of maintenance. An Ohio River flood which has been the biggest since 1937 got out of control for lack of depth in the flood control rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
And we want the government to be smaller?
Do you know what we have done?