Flooding Disaster Grows Worse in Mississippi River States, with Spring Planting Suffering
May 1, 2019 (EIRNS)—Events are playing out in the Mississippi and Missouri River Basins, with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration expecting “high risk of flooding” in its March three-month Spring Forecast, showing high rainfall and snowmelt. NOAA’s National Weather Service this week issued a flood watch, including flash flood warnings to specific sites, for all 10 states along the Mississippi River, from Minnesota and Wisconsin, southward to Louisiana and Mississippi. Some points over the next 10 days may experience a record flood cresting. In Davenport, Iowa, the limited, temporary levee breached on April 30. In Davenport and Muscatine, downtown riverside streets are closed off, with sandbagging underway.
Barge traffic is disrupted. In particular, fertilizer shippers report they have “fleeted” a couple hundred barges in St. Louis, unable to move because of dangerous waters. This threatens conditions for crop yields this year. In any case, spring planting is going slowly, and in some areas, it will not take place at all. One shipper asked EIR, “Can you use some P [phosphorous] or K [potassium] back East?” The answer: “Dump a couple barge loads on the House of Representatives!”
In the Missouri Basin, high water is still wreaking havoc. A land reclamation expert in Kansas told EIR today that heavy rains on top of saturated ground are causing terrible sinkholes to form in the onetime coal-mining region in eastern Kansas, when the ground collapses into the old underground mines. He was at a site today in which a baby calf was caught in a sinkhole 15 ft deep and 30 ft across. When it rains hard, the sinkholes can then fill up, which forces the water underground through the old mining tunnels, which can then start a chain reaction of causing more collapses, more sinkholes, and more underground flooding.