After growing up in the spillway,[sic, floodway] Mr. Allred left, working many jobs before persuading his wife to return to the country to farm. Six years ago, they built a house with their savings — about $100,000 — but were unable to get a mortgage or insurance because of the flood risks.Emphasis mine. No mention of an eighty-year-old agreement that the land was part of the paid-for Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway. Mr. Bennett couldn't get a loan because he wanted to build in a designated floodway.
The record-setting 1937 flood — the only other time the levee was intentionally breached — destroyed his family home.
Staying to raise a family of his own, he watched the area transform into thriving cropland, rich with corn, soy and wheat. He ran a grocery store and a tire repair businesses that made him the best-known man in the spillway. A decade ago, he closed the store, and his wife died. But he remained. So did the risk of flood.
Labels: army corps engineers, Birds Point New Madrid Floodway, flood, flood policy, media, NY Times, press, reporting