Farmers blame Army Corps for flooded crops
MORGANZA - Farmers face a total loss of their crop when water overtopped a levee near Morganza. The farmers said it could have been avoided if the Army Corps of Engineers hadn't got in the way.
The rising Mississippi River caused the flooding and put 4,000 acres of soybeans underwater in the Morganza Spillway. It floods there every few years, but almost never this late in the planting season.
"First time I ever lost a crop in 25 years," said Marty Graham, whose crop was just one month shy of harvest.
Farmers wanted to build the levee up higher to hold off the extra inches of water, but the Army Corps said no. Corps spokesperson Ricky Boyett said the spillway is designed to flood.
"If we prohibit that, then that water will eventually have to go somewhere that has not been planned or designed for," Boyett said.
"I understand that this is a major flood control project here," said Graham, "but when we're going to get overtopped by inches, we should at least been able to stop it."
Graham estimated a $2.5 million loss for all the farmers. Insurance should cover much of the damage, but farming won't be possible for two years.