All along the Mississippi-Missouri river system, floodplains have been reclaimed as farmlands. Often government agencies like the Corps of Engineers must make agonizing choices between these two beneficial uses.
"EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. -- Milus Wallace won't forget seeing the Mississippi River swamp his farm last spring after the Army Corps of Engineers blew up the levee that separated his land from the raging river.
'From here for 20 miles,' Wallace said recently from a perch on the levee's remains, 'it was nothing but water.'
Water unleashed by the dynamited levee took a $2 million toll on 61-year-old Wallace's farm, he said, swamping the house where he'd lived for some 40 years, a guesthouse and two trailers. The flood crumpled a dozen grain silos as though they were soda cans and blanketed 700 acres of soybeans in water and mud.'