Food Prices Rising Along With Floodwaters

Thousands more of acres of farmland go under water today
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2008 8:00 PM CDT
William Deweese of the Illinois Army National Guard holds down a hose that is pumping leaking water back into the Mississippi River in Clarksville, Mo., Tuesday, June 17, 2008.    (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
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(Newser) – Rising floodwaters in the Midwest spread over thousands more acres of farmland today, leading to record or near-record prices for corn, soybeans, and cattle and hog futures, Reuters reports. President Bush promised quick federal aid and will visit Iowa on Thursday. That's not enough for Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who blasted the president for learning nothing from Katrina. The US budget, he says, "does not add one thin dime for a boost in levee funding."

The immediate forecast doesn't look promising. The federal government says nearly 30 more levees are in danger of collapse throughout Iowa, Illinois, and neighboring states. Workers are on the job nonstop trying to shore them up. "We have quite a wall of water coming our way," said the mayor of Quincy, Ill.