As the Mississippi River continues to rise, there's much talk in the media about how this natural disaster compares to floods of the past. In Vicksburg, where the river will crest higher than levels seen in the Great Flood of 1927, highways have closed in anticipation of rising waters. The Eagle Lake and Kings communities have been evacuated because access roads will soon be under water, and some industries south of town are having to ferry employees to work. And, though the flooding in Vicksburg is unprecedented and getting lots of media attention, the rising water is causing problems all along the Mississippi River.
In Arkansas, sections of Interestate 40 are closed due to flooding. The trucking industry is being forced to take timely circuitous detours, which -- with the high price of gas -- means that trucked fresh produce will be both less fresh and more expensive. Rice planting in Arkansas is already a month behind, with farmers worrying whether their land will even be suitable for planting when the waters recede. Only 1% of the profitable corn crops planned by Mississippi farmers are in the ground right now. The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation estimates that 900,000 acres of agriculture's most fertile Delta land will be affected by the flooding, causing economic problems for families whose livelihoods depend on farming and impacting all consumers at the cash register.
To monitor the flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers recommends this link.