Sen. Durbin expects Missouri farmers to get federal aid

May 3, 2011

by Jennifer Fuller

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin expects Congress to step up and help the farmers affected by the destruction of a levee along the Mississippi River.

Durbin says it's a tradition that Congress helps the victims of disasters, and he expects that to continue. Some farmers and homeowners are concerned that demolition of the Birds Point Levee in southeast Missouri is man-made, meaning they won't qualify for some insurance and disaster aid.
 
Durbin says Congress has stepped up before when property owners are asked to sacrifice for the greater good. 
 
"We don't let people down. We kinda stand together as a family. We want to save this town, and the people who live here. And if the folks on the other side of the river are hurt in any way because of this flooding, we're gonna stand by them. And we should," Durbin says.
 
The Army Corps of Engineers decided to blow up the levee on Monday in an attempt to relieve pressure on levees around Cairo, Illinois and communities further upstream on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
 
Experts with the Corps say it could be a couple of weeks before flooding along the Ohio and Mississippi recedes to manageable levels.