Mississippi River levees break, more at risk

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    By Nick Carey
    1 hour, 31 minutes ago

    FORT MADISON, Iowa (Reuters) - The swollen Mississippi River ran over the top of at least nine more levees


    on Wednesday as floodwaters swallowed up more U.S. farmland, feeding inflation fears as corn prices soared to a record high.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said a levee broke at 1 a.m. CDT near Meyer, Illinois, leaving more than 17,000 acres of prime farmland at risk from the floodwaters.

    The rising river also ran over the tops of eight more levees north of St. Louis overnight, bringing the total number of compromised levees on the most important U.S. inland waterway to 19.

    "They were lower level agricultural levees," said spokesman Alan Dooley. "We're also watching another seven levees that may overtop in the next couple of days ... all agricultural levees."

    The slow-rolling disaster, the worst U.S. Midwest floods for 15 years, has flooded vast sections of the U.S. farm belt and forced tens of thousands of people from their homes.

    Estimates are that 5 million acres have been ruined and will not produce a crop this year. That has sent U.S. grain and livestock soaring, along with food price inflation worries.

    The Army Corps of Engineers, which operates U.S. river locks and dams, on Tuesday identified 26 levees protecting about 285,000 acres of prime cropland that were already under high water or were at high risk of flooding. Another seven were seen as potential risks.

    "Those levees were designed for a storm not the size that that has hit for now," U.S. Army Corps Brigadier General Michael Walsh told NBC's "Today" show.

    "We do need to work on our infrastructure in this country and certainly levees as well," he said.

    Drier weather since Sunday has helped the worst-flooded areas of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin to dry out. But as rivers have receded, the run-off has swollen the south-bound rush of the Mississippi, leading to more flooding and stress on levees.


    Weather forecasters said thunderstorms may return to Iowa and Illinois starting on Thursday.

    Iowa and Illinois usually produce one-third of all U.S. corn and soybeans. So expected smaller crops from the main sources of livestock feed, renewable fuels like ethanol, starch and edible oils has sent commodity prices to record highs.

    Chicago Board of Trade corn prices, the world benchmark, hit a record high of $8.07 a bushel in overnight trading.

    Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated or forced from their homes, with the worst flooding striking Iowa. Evacuations have also affected parts of Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.

    (Additional reporting by Lisa Shumaker, Peter Bohan and Christine Stebbins in Chicago; Debbie Charles in Washington; Writing by Andrew Stern; Editing by Frances Kerry)
  2. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    Yeah, you should see some of the stuff around here.

    Iowa has it really bad.

  3. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    Before and After shot:

  4. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    Try buying corn on the cob at your local grocery. WOW!

    Lucky for me I live across the road from a corn field. That's all I'm saying... :D
  5. needforspeed

    needforspeed Legend in my spare time

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    I grew up in Cedar Rapids and now live just north of Fort Madison. The Mississippi is expected to crest here tomorrow at a record-shattering 26.8 feet (old record--25.1 set in 1993). Two entire communities have been destroyed (Oakville, IA and Gulfport, IL--both are completely submerged). 11 miles north of me is a Corps of Engineers canal that protects 18,000 acres of prime farmland. The water is at the very top of it and is expected to overrun the banks at any time. There is nothing to stop the water between here and there. This would obliterate 250 homes along that 11-mile stretch.

    Bottom line: the situation is indeed grim, but we are fighting with everything we have at our disposal.

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