The water levels might be dropping in Southeast Missouri, but farmers there are still trying to figure out how to deal with the losses. Senator McCaskill says their lawsuit against the federal government likely won’t get too far.
Farmers in Southeast Missouri have watched the Mississippi River swallow their fields, and their profits from the oilseed, cotton, melons and grains they grow there. Many of them have sued the Army Corps of Engineers for breaching the levee, forcing the flood into their fields.
Senator McCaskill says she understands their plight, but she says when the Missouri Attorney General and Governor tried to get a court injunction to stop the Corps from blasting the levee, the judges sided with the Corps. Judge Stephen Limbaugh in the lower courts struck down the request to block the Corps from operating the levee, and Judge Alito upheld that decision in the U.S. Supreme Court. She says that does not bode well for the lawyers representing the farmers.
Farmers who work the 130 thousand acres now underwater say the feds took land without paying for it … a violation of the fifth amendment.
The Army Corps of Engineers says it’s within their right to operate the levee — in this case blowing up sections of it — to preserve lives and property.
The Corps says damage to the property at Birds Point is more than $300 million. The farmers though say that land might never be usable again.
A series of public forums is taking place this week to bring all state agencies that can assist the farmers and residents in recovery, whether it be with flood mitigation, unemployment benefits, filing insurance claims and more. The state is also working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin damage assessments.