Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Please Someone Explain This

Mo. levee blast inundates acres of farmland

"The Army Corps of Engineers declared success Tuesday after blasting two holes in an earthen levee in Missouri to divert rising Mississippi River floodwaters away from Cairo, Ill.
But farmers who pleaded unsuccessfully for the Supreme Court to stop the blast, which diverted floodwaters and inundated their land, had 130,000 acres of severely damaged farmland and close to $100 million in crop losses, a farmers' association said. About 100 homes are in the deluged area, according to Army engineers.

The purpose was to divert floodwaters from Cairo, a town of about 3,000.

The government engineers blasted the first hole into the Birds Point levee site at Sikeston, Mo., at about 10 p.m. Monday and the second one at around noon Tuesday, said Lisa Coghlan, spokeswoman for the Army engineers in Sikeston.

Flood stage for the Mississippi River in the area is normally 40 feet, but on Monday, the water was at 61.72 feet, the engineers said. By Tuesday, after the two blasts, the water was receding and had fallen to 60.12 feet, the engineers said.

"It was definitely a success," Coghlan said. The engineers planned to stage one more blast, probably today, depending on how quickly they could move equipment through the rain-soaked area, Coghlan said.

"The ground is absolutely just mush," she explained. "It's been raining for two weeks and today is actually the first sunny day."

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, toured the area around the blast Tuesday. The state asked the Supreme Court to block the water diversion onto the Missouri farms, but the court declined."


"The breach, created when engineers detonated explosives late Monday night at Birds Point, Missouri, is sending 396,000 cubic feet of water per second onto 200 square miles of fertile Missouri farmland.

The water is coursing across a floodway that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon described as “literally the most productive part of our continent.”

Farmer Bryan Feezor said the sight makes you “sick to your stomach” as he surveyed his submerged fields.

“Farming is all I ever have done … and it’s underwater,” he told CNN St. Louis affiliate KPLR. “I really don’t know (what I’m going to do).”

So what I'm led to understand is that farmers in the area had 130,000 acres of already sodden farm soil inundated, rendering it all unsuitable for planting this year. The state didn't want this to happen but the feds overruled to make it happen, the farmers lost over $100 million in crop damage. They may blow more holes to release more water. The river level dropped a whopping 1 and 1/2 feet, and areas downstream won't even feel the difference while 100 homes are flooded out. All to try and protect a town with 3000 people?
The reason this has a stink to it is that we already know there's going to be a food crisis this summer and taking more farmland out of the equation is insanity. That's already been insane policy with ethanol production which removes a large percentage of corn. If this was a local squabble one could understand that local politics played a part. But for the feds to step in and force this flooding for negligible results smacks of a larger agenda at play.
And I'm not exaggerating about a shortage of food coming to a store shelf near everybody.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the same thing they did in the flood of 1993 in Chesterfield, MO. Developers had wanted that farmland for years and the owners wouldn't sell it. The levy "broke" (rumor has it, that the corps blew the levy to spare downtown St. Louis) and flooded the whole valley out. The owners of the farmland eventually sold much of the property and now that area is fully developed strip mall city with every big box retailer you can think of, bringing in the big bucks for the developers and gobs of tax revenue for the city of Chesterfield. Check that area across from Cairo, IL in about 3 years and you'll see I'm probably right.

5/5/11 5:58 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Jeebus, thanks for that. I'm going to do some research. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the same is happening now, but I've been concentrating on the food shortage problem and didn't even consider that possibility.

5/5/11 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Use googlemaps satellite view and query chesterfield airport road, chesterfield, MO and you'll see what I'm talking about. The area bounded by I-64, Long Road, Edison road & Baxter road had maybe a dozen business/buildings. all the rest was corn field. All that is retail and food service now. Packed in as tight as they could get it. There was very little development west of long road except for the airport and a few other businesses. That's all warehouse & office type property. It was also all cornfield. As for me, if you zoom in at the corner of long road and Ches. Airport Rd, I used to live where the Walgreens now stands. Great party times back in those days. Darn flood ruined everything..

6/5/11 1:33 PM  

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