Farmer and DeKalb/Asgrow field advisor Jeff Hedges relayed the picture all too clearly by cell phone from river’s edge near Oakville, Iowa. The Mississippi River had just crested at 25 feet -- flood stage is typically 15 feet. The levee near where the Iowa River feeds into the Mississippi broke and sent water gushing across 20,000 acres of prime farmland. For 5 miles from the river to the highway, all Hedges could see is water. He sounded tired.
“They evacuated most of the hogs in the area, but there are still some pigs floating down the river,” Hedges said. “The pigs are swimming over to the levee to get out, but as they scramble up they poke holes in the plastic and sandbags and create more seepage. Water starts coming through again.”
Muddy water is reaching the top of grain bins in parts of drainage district No. 7 where Hedges lives and farms. There are thousands of homes with water, he estimates, and only a handful of people he knows have flood insurance.
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