News / USA

US Flood Control Measures Could Affect At Least 30,000

Multimedia

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened a key spillway, allowing the swollen Mississippi River to flood thousands of homes and crops. The action is expected to result in huge losses, inundating nearly 8,000 square kilometers of low-lying swamp and cropland.  But the deliberate flooding could reduce the potential for even greater damage to larger population centers downstream.



Seventy-two kilometers north of Louisiana's capital, experts say this plume of gushing water from the Morganza Spillway will gradually raise water levels up to six meters high -- flooding farms and businesses in an area that until Saturday was home to more than 25,000 people.

Colonel Ed Fleming of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers called the action historic. "Not only is it historic for the state of Louisiana and the town of Morganza, but it's a historic day for our nation.  Today's the first day in the history of our nation that we have had three major floodways open," he said.

Fed by heavy spring rains and winter snow melt, the swollen Mississippi River has already flooded hundreds of homes and businesses.  It's destroyed thousands of hectares of valuable corn and soy crops and now threatens to inundate towns, farms and refineries between Memphis and the Gulf of Mexico. Early estimates peg damages at more than a billion dollars.

Had the floodgates remained closed, Army engineers say the damage to larger cities farther south would have been even more catastrophic. Resigned residents say the state had little choice.

"They are saying 30- to 60,000 people will probably get flooded, but the alternative to that is possibly losing Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  And you're talking about well over a million people and billions and billions of dollars of industry, and we are going to lose some crops here and some people will lose some work time, but you have got to look at the big picture, I guess," said Jerry Berger, a Louisiana resident.

But the big picture is little comfort to those who stand to lose their homes, especially those without flood insurance.

"Unfortunately, no we don't have flood insurance. That was an oversight on our part. Normally we do, but nothing happened last year so we opted not to.  (We had) some financial problems and now we might pay for it," said homeowner George Morrison.

Experts say Americans can expect to pay higher insurance premiums as a result of this year's flooding. The U.S. already has reported about $5 billion in weather related damage this year -- a pace, the National Climactic Data Center says, could exceed the previous record of $9 billion in 2008.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid