All roads to Gulfport, IL lead to nowhere. They all dead-end into Mississippi flood waters. The closest we could get to the inundated Village using roads in Illinois was a police roadblock that is SEVEN MILES from town. That might tell you how close this river town of about 200 was to disaster when the flood waters started to rise.
But people lived here comforted by a levee system that the government said would protect them from a 100 year flood. No one was required to have federal flood insurance. Only 28 property owners had it. Some now say they were misled about the risks they were taking and that the chance of catastrophic flooding was miscalculated.
Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut agrees and says anyone living in an area protected by a levee should be REQUIRED to have flood insurance. He's pushing a bill that would do just that. But any change comes too late for Gulfport.
When the levee failed, the village was wiped out. All you can see today are a few signs and roof tops. Most buildings are completely under water.
Some residents tell me they will never go back. Without insurance they certainly can't afford to rebuild.
Editor's Note: See David Mattingly's Keeping Them Honest report on CNN.com HERE
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with