Leaky Missouri Levee Highlights National Problem
DUTCHTOWN, Mo. (AP) -- Floodwaters leaking past an old earthen levee in a Missouri river town highlight a larger problem threatening much of rural America: Scores of flood walls built decades ago by farmers are increasingly susceptible to failure.
Many of the barriers were constructed without help from engineers mainly to protect crops. Now they shield entire communities, and they're managed by local authorities with no money for repairs. With still more rain falling across the Midwest and South, all eyes were on the levees and the rising water.
The failed levee that led to flooding around Popular Creek and displaced more than 1,000 people is one of more than 100 nationwide that the federal government considers unfit to use.