Delta farmers face financial burden from flood

Local News

Farmers in the delta are beginning to feel the financial impact the flooding has put on their livelihood and locals are calling on legislators to step in.

Whether you’re on the ground, or up in the air, roads and agriculture in Yazoo County remain taken over by water.

“We need help down here,” local fishermen David Sellers told us. “We don’t need these talk shows, we need help and nobody seems to care.”

Still unable to plant crops, or raise cattle, the floods have become a real financial burden for farmers.

“The farmers are the backbone of the Mississippi Delta,” Sellers continued. “Just lower the water enough so we don’t have to move out every time.”

Now communities are sending letters and petitions calling on state and federal law makers to act, allowing the installment of the Yazoo Backwater Area Pumps Project to be approved and get pumps to relieve enough water from AG life.

“They are responsible for all the flood that is down here,” Holly Bluff resident Ewella Silk said. “Because they never provided the pumps that were supposed to come. They keep dumping water on us and it gets worse as years go by.”

The plan was struck down back in 2008 by the Environmental Protection Agency claiming the pumps would harm the Wetlands environment. But as wildlife is struggling to stay afloat like these deer, many believe allowing this flood is the real damage.

“We have lost all of our turkeys on account of flooding,” Sellers stated. “I’m not able to turkey hunt no more, I’m not able to duck hunt no more. I got 60% of my loaners left.”

Many times emergency officials now have to travel by air to assess the damage and check in on those trapped. We went up for a ride with them to see how it looked.

As we’re flying 1500 feet in the air looking out the window shows just how serious this region of the county has been affected. Roads and farmlands have been completely cut off and the water goes on for miles.

“It actually doesn’t even look familiar with all the water it’s hard to spot people’s places,” Jody Carson said. “And I’ve flown here for 30 years.”

Back on the surface a lot of people have to rely on boats to get to and from home.

“In the last two weeks just about 95% or 99.9 percent of my travels been by boat,” Holly Bluff resident Chuck Perry said.

Legislators at the state and federal level can be notified about this crisis via phone or on their websites. That contact information can be found below.

Governor Phil Bryant: (601) 359-3150

Senator Cindy-Hyde Smith: (202) 224-5054

Senator Roger Wicker: (202) 224-6253

Representative Bennie Thompson: (202) 225-5876  

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