The Big Muddy isn't getting bigger, but the problems for victims of flooding along the Mississippi are really just taking shape now.
The Associated Press out of Memphis captures this moment perfectly this morning: "The Mississippi River crest has passed through the South, but the misery caused by flooding is far from over."
The Mississippi's flood waters are receding, so now begins the process of digging out, mopping up, rebuilding and replanting.
"The final cost is not yet known, but previous floods on the Mississippi that made the record books, such as the one in 1993, cost as much as $15 billion," Jennifer Frazier, director of the Mississippi River Program of the American Land Conservancy, wrote in the Memphis Commercial Appeal of the need for better flood-plain management. "We cannot afford to keep doing it this way."
The flooding has delayed the planting of crops and some farmers fear they won't have anything to harvest this year. The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that nearly 3.6 million acres of farmland were affected by the floods.
"There is no doubt about it, the effect of the flooding on farmers and ranchers is being felt deeply across the South," American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist Bob Young said. "One is reminded of the '93 or '95 floods in terms of scale of affected area. While some may be able to get a crop in the ground this year, we also need to think about the long-term economic health of these farms and communities," he said, stressing the need for levees to be rebuilt.
Now the water level Missouri River in South Dakota is rising.
This article via The Los Angles Times wire is a brain-churner, offering evidence that manmade dams along the Mississippi and its tributaries are behind the flooding in the middle of the country.
The Internal Revenue Service announced it is giving victims of the recent flooding, storms and tornadoes additional time to meet their tax obligations.