Mississippi farmers say heavy flooding caused them to lose crops
08/02/2021 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Farmers in northern Mississippi said they lost a number of crops due to heavy flooding in the area. Torrential rains caused the heavy flooding that affected counties in the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta. While officials acknowledged that the inundated farmlands will affect the state's economy, they assured that Mississippi's food production will remain unaffected.

Andy Gipson, the state's agriculture and commerce minister, went to northern Mississippi to observe the impacted farmlands. "It was just torrential. It looked like a tropical storm," he said. Gipson added: "[The flooded farmlands] look like lakes where there was cotton and soy beans. [There] are even cornfields that are totally underwater."

According to Gipson, he has not seen flooding that severe in the state throughout his tenure in the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce. He said: "This is really an unprecedented event as far north as it is in [northern] Mississippi. We are used to seeing the flooding in [the] south Delta, the Yazoo backwater and other parts of the state, but this event has dropped about 20 inches of rain in north Mississippi and the north Delta."

The commissioner added that Bolivar County is one of the hardest-hit areas – with farmers in the county losing corn, cotton, soybeans and other crops. Gipson said the farmers could possibly salvage their soybean crops to replant. However, they would have to wait for the fields to dry out before doing so.

Gipson ultimately remarked that the loss affects Mississippi's economy, but not its food production. He noted that there is not much that the state can do to fix the problem. "The devastation of a flood like this and an unexpected time frame – nobody could prepare for this. There's nothing you could do to stop it," the agriculture commissioner said. (Related: Killer floods in Europe give the world a glimpse of chaotic future.)


The heavy rains also inundated homes in the area

The heavy rains in northern Mississippi did not only submerge farmlands. They also inundated homes in the area's different counties, the Clarion-Ledger reported. Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) External Affairs Director Malary White described the flooding situation in different counties.

"Right now, we do know in Bolivar County [that] they have seen some flooding. Charleston in Tallahatchie County is seeing extensive flooding," she said. White added that the Red Cross had rescued a number of displace individuals in Bolivar County. Meanwhile, MEMA released drone footage of flooded farmlands in Tallahatchie County.

Bolivar County Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Lamb confirmed the flood's heavy impact on the county. He pointed out that three to four communities had been impacted by water, and that floodwater entered around 150 to 200 homes.

"We've had to use boats to rescue people and get them to safe ground. All the roads are under water, so we'll have to wait until the water goes down before we can see if we have some infrastructure damage. I'm pretty sure we will," Lamb said.

National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Andy Sniezak said an observer measured slightly over 20 inches of rainfall in Tallahatchie County during a three day period. He added that more than 7 inches of rainfall were recorded for a period of two days. "Over 7 inches of rain in one day should only happen once every 200 years. To have it happen twice in two days is just incredible," Sniezak said. (Related: Biblical flooding devastates mainland China.)

Thomas Winesett, another NWS meteorologist, also confirmed that other areas in Mississippi experienced record amounts of rainfall. "We did have over 6 inches of rainfall in Greenwood. Generally, we're seeing pretty hefty rainfall – [more than 6] inches overnight. There's still rain moving through there in parts of the Delta that have already had quite a bit of rainfall," he said.

Winesett continued that there were many roads and houses under water. "A lot of roads have been washed out. There's water in homes as well," the meteorologist said.

Climate.news has more articles about the extreme weather conditions in Mississippi.

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