Which is more important: A few farmers or a city of fewer than 3,000 people?
Last night, after winning a court fight, the Army Corps of Engineers blew up a levee sending the Mississippi River cascading onto 130,000 acres of farmland. It was an attempt to lower the river that still threatens Cairo, Illinois.
Did it work? Check out the river gauge from the National Weather Service…
That chart also tells us something about one of the causes of Mississippi River flooding in the first place.
“This is our industry, this is our factory, we grow food for the same folks trying to blow up our levee,” Cathy Allred, one of the farmers, told the New York Times.
“I poured my whole life into that farm, and I’m 60 years old and I don’t want to start on anything else,” another said.
Eventually the water will drain, some of the farmers may rebuild, and things will be back to normal, with only a little damage to political careers like that of Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley who had an answer when asked which should be sacrificed: the farms or the city?
“Cairo. I’ve been there, trust me. Cairo,” he said. “Have you been to Cairo?” he added. “OK, then you know what I’m saying then.”