June 18th, 2008
09:01 PM ET

Levees and luck - good and bad

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/18/art.floodhouse.jpg]
Karin Matz
CNN Producer

We just talked with a man who lives right behind a levee holding back the Mississippi, in West Illinois farm country. He was out watering the dry dirt road from West Quincy to the levee so passing cars wouldn't kick up so much dust and blow it into house.

He told us this levee is still holding strong and it's the only one that held up during the 1993 floods.

Lucky man.

A little later, down Highway 57, we arrived in Marblehead, where the levee had broken. These folks are definitely not lucky. Their homes and garages are under water, so is their farmland.

Another piece of Americana swept away by the big river. It's unbelievable that just a few minutes apart, landscape and life are so different.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Weather
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. L.M.Roure

    Rip Van Winkle and the ripple effect

    Midwest Mississippi spill is heart braking,but who is to blame but only ourselves ,feeling secure like we did in Katrena we over looked antique and obsolete levee systemes that for decades should have been checked and up dated with new technology. These levees are too vulnerable for over powering valumes of water in strong weather systems to be patched up.You are working against a river branch when they burst.
    We have the geographical and topography mapping satellite experts and madern marvel tools to drain and collect the flooding waters of the river, at the vulnerable points of the levees, into canals or pipe lines that could lead to drought lands or reservoirs across state lines, the future is yours.Maybe China and India could do the same for their rainy seasons.

    June 19, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  2. Stan

    I am wondering why the media has not covered why government officials allow people to continue build and rebuild within these historically documented flood hazard areas? Floodplains are named for a reason (i.e., they flood)! This irresponsibility is compromising public safety and the environment. Furthermore, it is costing the tax payer, economy, and policy holders a fortune!

    Let’s restore these flood hazard areas for what they are naturally intended for (i.e., conveyance of flood water), and restrict them to agricultural use.

    June 19, 2008 at 10:56 am |
  3. Paul Spindel

    I love your show.....
    OK, so help me here.... in all the pictures of the flooding, I haven't seen any National Guard troops helping to sand bag or anything. Only one was a police unit. Are there all in Iraq fighting an illegal war?
    In my opinion, this is more of what the National Guard should be involved in rather than fighting overseas.
    Am I missing something?

    June 19, 2008 at 10:27 am |
  4. laila

    I am extremely disappointed for these folks. Bush is one of the most irresponsible presidents I have ever seen. Well I know if Obama wins thousands of jobs will be generated in the rebuilding and fortifying of the levies, and all the infrastructure of this country, more jobs will be generated when we start looking into other energy sources...jobs jobs and more jobs. I know a time of prosperity is coming to the US. Gas prices may not go down but so what...if wages go up then people will be able to cope. I can totally see a lot of good coming in the next few years. My heart goes out to the people of Iowa and all the other flooded areas, if we had a government that believed in intervention they would be better off right now.

    June 19, 2008 at 1:58 am |
  5. Kurt

    I just came over here tonight for the first time since Fox News is really starting to bore me with its sensational entertainment news. Thanks for the story and breaking news all night on the floods.

    June 18, 2008 at 11:14 pm |
  6. Florence Emerson

    I've been watching the coverage of the flooding in Iowa and Illinios and I fully understand what these poor folks are going through. I lived in a flood proned area, for most of my life. I recently moved from NJ, to NE Pa, and down in NJ,my street that I lived on flooded out during evry heavy rainstorm, and even if it did'nt rain. At one point, during one major flood, we had 3 feet of water in our unfinished basement.
    The last flood, I had to have the electricity shut off, and the fire dept could not pump me out, because, they did not have the equipment.
    So, those folks have alot of work ahead of them and of course, heartache. I feel for them, and pray for them.

    June 18, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  7. Benjamin

    Hey Anderson;I am a Canadian but have been watching how peoples' belongings and life are suffering from the flood and the collapsing levees. I think another approach has to be taken to stop all this type of disaster, I think the army corp should take a leaf from oil company,and do what they do , i.e , make a huge pipe-line,and pump the water to places where there is insufficient rain, like Califonia.

    June 18, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  8. jason

    We see yet another challenge for the bush administration to get their arms around in this levee problem. This falls under national security in keeping America safe not just from terrorist but also natural disasters. We are spending a rediculous amount of money for a war in the wrong country. We must fix our roads, bridges and levees. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out!!

    June 18, 2008 at 10:11 pm |

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