Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I Taught the Weepin' to Cry, Cry, Cry...

Tip o' th' hat to ACE....they truly aced it.

Cairo is saved but right now the 'Ole Man is bearing down on us.  I think we got this, I think ACE has this,  I have confidence...but don't forget...


Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Hey, while I certainly sympathize with your place in Cairo, I would like it acknowledged that more people were rendered homeless on the other side of the river. They didn't just flood farmland. When I look at the pics of this, I see small towns and houses, places where people had just as much right to live as did your people in Cairo.
So far my rough count is around 5000.
Thank you

Jason Brad Berry said...

5000 people were rendered homeless because of the Bird's Point breech? Bullshit. Where? Where are you getting those numbers? I don't believe that for a second because I grew up there and I know exactly where that land is and I know for a fact there were probably not 50 homes on that land much less 5000.

There are lots of people who have lost their homes for sure, my friends from the Kentucky side are in that number, and I'm not demeaning their loss...I lost my house in Katrina, I think I understand the pain and loss they are experiencing very well. The paper mill, NewPage, my brother works out, which my dad worked at, has been closed due to the flooding and I very much understand the hardships this flood has created.

Having said that, the decision to blow the levee at Bird's Point...a plan that had been in place for decades and the people that developed that land into farm land knew damn good and well what the risks were....was the absolute right decision. I'm not glorifying the Corps. but give credit where credit is due...they are fighting this flooding to the best of their ability and they made the right call on Bird's Point...period.

If you're implying that I'm being insensitive to people that have lost their homes because I lauded the Corps' decision on Bird's Point, you are wrong...period.

Anonymous said...

There usually are worthwhile things at stake on both sides of any difficult call.

It sounds as if the right call was made here, but that doesn't mean there aren't losses.

Governing often means making decisions that are going to hurt someone with legitimate needs and concerns no matter which decision gets made.

Hard as we all are on elected officials and poltical staffers, that is worth remembering.

Dambala, do you have a post in you about the NOPD's inside baseball? Those crime cameras just keep on giving! Your views always inform and entertain.

Jason Brad Berry said...

My comment is that I think Mayor Landrieu just lost lost credibility. His answer was to suspend Hosni? Suspension? You gotta be kidding me...Hosni should have been canned and I think Serpas should have probably gone as well. If Serpas isn't going to be reprimanded or fired Mitch should have a damn good explanation why. Hosni being suspended is a joke...and that taints the administration as a whole in my book.

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

My apologies, Ash. That was my own rough estimate and I should not have thrown it out there so recklessly.
Here is one article on some of those folks:
I will keep researching to find an accurate census of that 130,000 acres of farmland.

And I didn't mean to imply that you were being insensitive to the plight of those across the river who are losing their homes. I never thought that for a second.

As Anon said, there are hard calls to be made all along the river.

If it makes you feel any better (and I hope it does) my word thingy for this comment is "imptsto".
You can call me that from now on.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Don't apologize, but I can give you an accurate estimate because I grew up there....I would say 50 to 70 homesteads. And I can assure you they understood the risks of living there. There are a lot of houses that went under during this event, folks that built in marginal areas with no levees. There is a lot of farmland outside the levee system on the Kentucky side that was submerged, and that happens a lot. There are areas along the Ohio/MS. that farmers gamble on every year...I just think it's important to predicate this whole issue knowing that this threat isn't something that was totally unexpected. Everyone in that area knows what that river can do.

Jason Brad Berry said...

I posted that song as a reference to that reality, the destructive force of that river has broken as many hearts over the years as hurricanes have in the Gulf. The corps is attempting to tame the most powerful geological force on this continent and they've prepared for it for decades, nearly a century since 1927. I'm not saying we should blindly trust the corps., we know better than that, but I'm saying they have a plan in place and this gambit they took worked. We have to trust in their game plan and so far it's working.

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Thanks Ashe. I love that song.
And I love you.

My father was (I think) 7 yrs old in 1927, in Bolivar Co, MS, the largest county in the state. My grandfather lost a lot of land in that flood, but more to the Great Depression.
Hence I too grew up there in Cleveland MS and worked on my daddy's farm, cotton, soybeans, wheat and cucumbers <-(an experiment in pollinating the cotton). It wasn't that big a life but we weren't share-croppers either.
When I hear 130,000 acres of farmland I know there are a few little towns in that, 1 stop light maybe... but I know where the people live there because that is where I'm from.

This we face now on the river was designed as you say, but I'm stuck on all the infrastructure north that was designed and built well after this, all the locks and reservoirs on the upper MS, AR, MO and Red rivers. That is what flooded Iowa so catastrophically in 2008.
We are feeling the vice of disaster capitalism on a scale that is hard to get the mind around.
Are we not being pitched State against State, farmer against township?
Yes the system is overwhelmed.
Bonnet Carre is slated to be open for 3-6 Months?
We may even see what happens when they open Morganza and flood the Atchafalaya Basin. That's a lot more little towns that will go under.
Hard choices that break my heart.
Hard precedences too.
I'll try to keep a clearer head about it.

Thanks again,

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Here's a nice update on the Birds Point Breach from Michael Grunwald:

Jason Brad Berry said...

" The farmers who bought land in Missouri’s waterlogged bootheel knew what they were buying; periodic floods and occasional wipeouts were priced into their purchases. But after their lobbying efforts and lawsuits failed to persuade the Corps to sacrifice the people of Cairo, Ill., instead of their high-priced dirt, they are now preparing another lawsuit, insisting that the Corps has trampled their constitutional property rights."

Yes, yes and yes. That was exactly my point...everyone in that area knew what that land was...a flood plain. When I was a kid they used to set up temporary Fireworks stands on it in June, July, that were essentially plywood shacks. That was about the extent of commerce the area ever saw because no one was dumb enough to build a permanent structure there.

They farmed it for 70 years and dodged the bullet and made loads o' cash off the land. The shit finally hit the fan and now they want to file a federal lawsuit because they lost 1 maybe 2 years of crop production. And don't tell me it will take 5 years to re-farm that land...that's horseshit, I know because I've seen it happen year after year right across the river from that land in Kentucky. That land will be re-sown next year...I bet my ass on it.

Jason Brad Berry said...

I think the update to this story since Bird's Point is: "No Loss of Life = Success."

Jason Brad Berry said...

"This we face now on the river was designed as you say, but I'm stuck on all the infrastructure north that was designed and built well after this, all the locks and reservoirs on the upper MS, AR, MO and Red rivers. That is what flooded Iowa so catastrophically in 2008."

No shit? Where is that info? Link?

Anonymous said...

The breaching of the Bird's Point levee wasn't done just to save Cairo. Had it been done a little sooner, it could have saved the homes and businesses of so many more people on both sides of the river. Many more Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Western Kentucky residents were praying for COE to implement that plan. A lot of the flooded communities that you are seeing pictures of(SEMO included)saw the water levels start dropping immediately after the breech. The media made it all about Cairo, but the people in this area know better. Some just found it an opportunity to let their racist attitudes shine. We seem to be seeing an awful lot of that lately.