– The Best Farmland in the U.S. Is Flooded; Most Americans Are Too Stupid to Panic
LEVEES on the cresting Mississippi River held today as the worst US Midwest flooding in 15 years began to ebb, but multibillion-dollar crop losses may boost world food prices for years.
Water levels on the river receded for the second straight day as mostly clear weather gave saturated areas a chance to start draining. Forecasts for similar dry weather in coming days gave further encouragement.
The swollen river was expected to crest tomorrow in St Louis at 11.9 metres, 3.3 metres below the record set in 1993 and a level considered “manageable”, said US Army Corps of Engineers St Louis District spokesman Alan Dooley.
“The crest in the areas up the Mississippi River in the district has passed,” Dooley said. “The water is still up very high and it is up against levees.”
There were no fresh levee breaks reported today. At least three dozen levees, berms and other flood barriers have been overtopped along the Mississippi in the last two weeks as the runoff from torrential rains this month pushed south along the main US inland waterway.
Several flood warnings remained in effect for communities in Missouri and Illinois, but officials said they expected the worst was over, with the focus now shifting to clean-up.
“We’re just mentally and physically exhausted,” said Winfield, Missouri, resident Carol Broseman, who fled her home for a shelter yesterday after flood waters engulfed her neighbourhood.
The National Weather Service today forecast windy but mostly dry weather in the western and central Midwest states for the next several days, which will help waters recede further.
Many Iowa rivers, which saw record flooding two weeks ago, were back near or below flood stage today.
June 30, 2008