Cinder blocks lie like Jenga pieces beneath a 1939 porch that’s washed away. The air smells like the Mississippi River — because it’s been here.
For more than a month, the Allstuns’ farm lay sunk like a wooden iceberg as floodwater rushed by at up to 400,000 feet per second. The Allstuns’ farm has been in their family 100 years.
They and other floodplain residents descend from family who lived here in 1928, when Congress passed the act that fated the explosion of the Birds Point levee.
East Prairie, Mo., Mayor Kevin Mainord disagrees with the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to blow the levee, which he said was unnecessary. But political debate subsided when unexpected rain raised the river above levee height. It was night. Mainord lay awake, listening to the rain.
“We knew what it meant,” Mainord said. “It was going to mean the activation of the floodway.”
— By Sarah Alban, Edited by Steven Rich