Costs Mounting for This Year's Flood

Jun 25, 2019

April 2019 in downtown Davenport.
Credit WVIK News

All the estimates aren't in yet, but the flood of 2019 is going to cost us all a lot of money.

During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Colin Wellenkamp, Executive Director of the Mississsippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, said the impact so far is probably more than two billion dollars. 

"We were close to that in March, so now taking into account further losses in the valley from farming, manufacturing, navigation, and the cruise industry - we're definitely going to be north of two billion."

He says flooding in 2011 along the Mississippi River, affecting a smaller area and for a shorter time, cost about four billion dollars.

Wayne Preston is the Deputy Chief Economist for the US Department of Agriculture. He now estimates corn planting will drop by 3 million acres, resulting in a big reduction in spending by farmers.

"If we take out that three million acres, that means we have a billion dollars less that's going into seed, fertilizer, chemicals, custom services, fuel, lube, electricity, repairs."

A spokesman for the barge industry called the impact on his and other marine companies unprecedented and devastating - barge shipments on the upper Mississippi River so far this year are 67 per cent lower than normal year.