The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasted the Birds Point levee Monday, May 2 in an effort to lower river levels in Cairo. The tactic by the Corps means hundreds of thousands of acres of Missouri farmland and nearly a hundred homes were sacrificed. The price being paid by the farmers and residents of Mississippi and New Madrid Counties will not be immediately known. Farmers with flood insurance may be entitled to file claims for crop losses. There is no word on compensation for the possible long-term damage to crop lands resulting from erosion and silt left behind when the water recedes. Also, farm building and residences may be completely destroyed from the rush of the water.
Some politicians are calling for quick response by the Corps to restore the land as soon as possible. Landowners may be forced to use the courts to get their full compensation for the damages to their property. Under the Constitution, private property cannot be damaged for the public good without payment of compensation. Under emergency situations, it is not always possible to compensate an owner before their property is damaged by the government, but there are legal remedies to protect property owners that suffer damages such as the landowners effected by the destruction of the Birds Point Levee