State officials join the Farm Bureau in calling on the Corps of Engineers to not only put Missouri’s levees back the way they were before the floods, but to build them even better.
Governor Nixon tells the Farm Bureau he’s on their side in getting the Birds Point levee in Southeast Missouri rebuilt on the fast track.
Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst says the Corps of Engineers’ plan to termporarily rebuild the Birds Point Levee to 51 feet isn’t good enough, and Nixon agrees.
The Corps plans to rebuild the levee to an interim height 11 feet lower than it was when they blew out the levee save the town of Cairo, Ill.
Hurst says he was always taught that when you break it, you buy it.
“You know, my mother used to tell every time we went in the dime store that if I broke it, I owned it,” Hurst says.
He tells state officials he hopes the worst has passed, but lots of farmers are stull suffering.
Governor Nixon addressed the Farm Bureau, saying he agrees that the levee must be built back not only to where it was before the Corps blew it out, but says it needs to be even better than before.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and West Central Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler also expressed their support to the Farm Bureau, saying flooding and other disasters have dealt a wicked blow to farmers this year. Hartzler says budget concerns are at the center of discussions in Washington, and that includes disaster recovery.
Hurst says, the Corps blew the Birds Point Levee this spring, “and it just seems right to me that it go back to the original 62-foot height.”
He adds that the river has been above 51 feet in 12 of the last 20 years, which, he says, makes surrounding acres much less viable for producing a crop.
“It’s also important to make that economic connector down there,” Nixon says. “You’ve got 137,000 acres of prime farm land that needs to part of our economy. For generations it’s been incredibly, incredibly valuable and viable and we need to get it back in full production as quickly as we can.”