The Mississippi River Takes No Prisoners

25 06 2008

When I was younger, I picked up a copy of “On The Beach” and it sort of creeped me out. If you aren’t familiar with the novel, it’s about nuclear apocalypse and how some folks in Australia are waiting for the radiation as the world has killed itself and the characters are all that’s left.

Needless to say, this book isn’t Strawberry Shortcake.

The premise of having to wait for a crisis has always stuck with me and how the protagonists know they are just going to have to wait because bad stuff is coming.


Why this novel reminds me of the floods plaguing the Mid West right now even surprises me, but loss is loss and I guess that’s where I’m coming from.

Killa wrote a sobering thought recently that some of my coworkers and I were pondering this past week. I’ll let her explain.

Paducah’s historic downtown is right on the river. In fact, an artist came and painted scenes from Paducah through the years on the levee. Paducah’s historic downtown is one of THE best parts of Paducah. Forget the super-huge Best Buy store or Old Navy. Go to downtown Paducah and walk around on the roads made out of brick.


My grandfather on my mother’s side and his family used to farm a hell of a lot of land in Cayce, KY. At one time, Cayce was so big that they had their own school. But now everyone goes to Fulton Co. School. I just don’t want to see all their farm land underwater. Hickman and Cayce have a weird economic setting. You’re either dirt poor or you’re filthy rich because you have a gazillion acres of farm land. There’s really no in-between.


So, while everyone, including me, is watching Iowa and how bad it’s going to flood, I have one ear and an eye pointed towards Hickman.

She writes about if the flooding will strike the areas which are less than an hour from here. Hickman has been devastated recently by the economy and tornados.

From WPSD,

Farmers in far western Kentucky are waiting to see whether the predicted flooding of the Mississippi River will harm their crops.

The Mississippi River is a beast to be reckoned with. Although local authorities don’t believe that it will be horrible, there is still some trepidation that the biggest economic source which are crops in the Hickman/Cayce area would be impacted by flood rivers once it comes heads that way. Hickman, as I said earlier, has been devasted over the years. The downtown, well, there isn’t much left of it and it sets on the river.

So, although the outcome may not be as devastating as “On The Beach”, but from an economic standpoint residents are just waiting. I think that we forget sometimes that there are farmers in the world. If their crops are impacted for whatever reason, these men and women usually don’t have a back-up plan. Not all farms are huge subsidized operations.

And it’s that kind of wait that sits in the bottom of your stomach because there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.




8 responses

25 06 2008

We’ve looked at the potential for flooding our roads out around Hooterville and the rest of west TN. The USGS told us that the levee breaches and overtopping on the river upstream should probably help lower the river by the time it gets to us.

25 06 2008

We’ve looked at the potential for flooding our roads out around Hooterville and the rest of west TN. The USGS told us that the levee breaches and overtopping on the river upstream should probably help lower the river by the time it gets to us.

25 06 2008

That’s very good news, W. Thanks for the information.

25 06 2008
lovable liberal

I’ve wanted to see a web animation of the flood crest and the extent of flooding as the surge of water moves down the Mississippi. It seems like an obvious news widget, but I haven’t found one.

I have looked back to long-ago flood experience in West Tennessee.

25 06 2008
Aunt B.

I do wonder what happens when all that water hits New Orleans, though. W., any ideas about that?

25 06 2008

All that water sitting on Iowa takes longer to get down river because it’s behind those levees. So everybody downstream gets a lower flood peak, though it might stay higher for a little longer.

As for New Orleans, it probably isn’t that big of a deal. I’m not familiar with their Mississippi River levee system but I wouldn’t be surprised if it can handle it. The river is a lot bigger down there so a 500 year flood peak in the upper basin isn’t nearly as bad by the time it gets to NO.

26 06 2008
theodoric of athens

Not all farms are huge subsidized operations

and are thus much worse off because of the ones that are. Ask the erstwhile cotton farmers of West Africa, where people wear American t-shirts they can’t read, made in Vietnam or Mexico or wherever from USDA-subsidized American cotton.

26 06 2008

Squirrel Queen’s mom owns a farm.
In a word, it is not of the good.
She leases, but DAY-YUM!
It’s a bad time for farmers.

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