Recent storms in the south have left the Mississippi River engorged, raising concerns of imminent flooding. Floods have already occurred in Missouri after the Birds Point levee succumbed to the churning waters of the river. As the river continues to swell, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun taking measures to intentionally breach additional levees in an attempt to control flooding.
The action has brought up concerns, particularly among the state’s farmers, about whether insurance companies will pay for damages caused by these man-made floods.
The Army’s idea has been contested by several residents of Missouri. Among them is Christ Koster, the state’s attorney general, who attempted to put an end to the plan. Koster argued that the operation should be stalled until it was clear that insurers would compensate policyholders for losses as a result of a man-made disaster.
However, U.S. agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, spoke before the Natonal Associated of Farm Broadcasting on Tuesday and insisted that farmers affected by the breach would be compensated as long as they had insurance coverage. While the breach itself was not natural, the need for the action was caused by nature and is, therefore, well within the coverage terms imposed by insurers.
Despite Vilsack’s insistence, a band of farmers has come together to sue the federal government over the operation.
Governor Jay Nixon’s only concern through all of this is to ensure that Missourians get all the assistance they need to recover from the tragic events of the storms.