Farmers, residents continue to face flooding in Midwest US

June 22nd, 2008 - 5:39 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 22 (DPA) Residents of the US Midwest continued to watch streets, buildings and fields fill with water from the flooding Mississippi River Saturday. The National Weather Service said the river had crested Friday in the metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri area, where about one million people live, and where moderate flooding continued.

But the worst was not over for towns north of St. Louis, as the breach of several levees had temporarily lowered the water levels, but where the river was predicted to crest again later in the weekend.

Hannibal - the hometown of Mark Twain, the 19th century writer known for his work about life on the more than 3,700-km river - was to see the waters crest Sunday, the weather service said.

The river’s destruction was likely to be felt far beyond the middle of the country as damage to areas at the heart of US corn and soybean production causes price increases. In Iowa alone, officials said crop damage could reach $3 billion, CNN reported.

The Midwest flooding has claimed about two dozen lives, and has put tens of thousands of acres of prime corn and soy farmland under water, broadcast reports said.

More than 20 levees have already broken in Iowa and Illinois, and still more are expected to yield in the coming days after as much as 38 centimetres of rain fell this month in some parts of Iowa.

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