Recovery from this ‘great flood’ will take an incredible amount of time, money

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, in a call this week, announced damage to communities along the river from the ongoing flooding from Iowa to Louisiana — and elsewhere — is estimated to have reached $2 billion thus far.

Thus far is the key word in that statement.

The effects of the damage caused by the flooding, including the flooding in the Delta and the Yazoo Backwater Area, is of such magnitude, that it will take years to recover.

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Right now, there is no way to estimate the economic impact of the agriculture fields and facilities that will be out of commission for one, to two, to three years of planting.

Right now, the price tag for the repairs to infrastructure, such as roads and utilities, itself might exceed $2 billion.

When it is all said and done, Colin Wellenkamp with the Initiative said, the amount of damage assessed might surpass that of the 2011 flood, which was more than $4 billion.

This slow moving prolonged natural disaster will impact more people, cause more damage and come with a far higher price tag than many of the hurricanes that have struck our nation. And, it will do all of this damage with far less fanfare.

The size and scope of this flood is beyond imagination. It has lasted longer, reached deeper into our communities than the 2011 flood and in many ways has surpassed what was called The Great Flood of 1927.

While recovery from this flood is yet to begin, given floodwaters remain over the farms, in homes and over roads, we must accept that it will take years and it will take more than we as an individual community can do. We need help and that help must start lining up.

The amount of damage is staggering and that is without knowing just how much damage there is. The cleanup and recovery will be far more staggering.

The price tag that will come with this disaster is impressive. Let us hope the support our community — and many others affected — receive is up to the task.