Last year’s record breaking floods along the Mississippi River could put a significant amount of people in danger of similar events this year, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The events of last year have dealt a significant amount of damage to protective structures that block floods, such as levees and overflow channels. The communities that were affected by these events last year will be notified of the Army Corps of Engineers concerns in February.
The Corps has identified several places where floods could be a major problem this year. Engineers are working on bolstering the defenses of these areas in the hopes of avoided yet more major disasters. There is hope that the defenses will not be tested and that the spring season will not play host to severe storms in the region. Nonetheless, the Corps will be using $802 million in funds provided by Congress to repair and improve flood mitigating structures.
Insurers share the concerns of the Corps, noting that floods along the Mississippi River have caused significant damage not only to homes and businesses but also to crops in the region. As the banks of the Mississippi River began to swell, the Army Corps of Engineers opened up overflow channels to keep homes safe. The excess water rushed into crops, which led to a loss in production for farmers. With spring just around the corner, insurers are, once again, highlighting the importance of flood insurance for those that have yet to purchase policies.