Heavy rains affect Marion County agriculture

The water rose so high in Florence that it came up over the bridge. Drew Looper/Special to the Free Press
The water rose so high in Florence that it came up over the bridge. Drew Looper/Special to the Free Press
Marion County received so much rain last week, that Governor Kelly issued a state of disaster emergency declaration for it and several other counties.

Many residents had to find alternate routes as parts of Highway 50 and other areas became closed. Unfortunately, some residents did not find alternate routes causing fire fighters to have to rescue more than one person.

Because people underestimate the force and power of water, KDEM continues to remind the public to avoid walking or driving through flood waters and to avoid playing in and around a flooded stream.

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.

Even 18 inches of water is sufficient to float a vehicle and it only takes six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock an adult off his feet. Flood waters demand our utmost respect. Turn around don’t drown.

People and animals were not the only concerns regarding the rain. It is uncertain yet how much crops will be impacted by the flooding.

“Most of the corn was already planted and poking through the ground so I think it will rebound from the rain. Very few have started planting beans yet. My guess is that if they have, they may need to be replanted,” said Ricky Roberts, Ag and 4-H Extension Agent. “We need sunshine and we don’t need more rain. We’ve had enough rain for a while.”

Roberts did express some concern for the wheat crops.

“There is a difference between wet soil and sitting underwater. Wet soil we can work through. Sitting under water for a length of time could possibly lead to disease. It’s just hard to say at this point what the flooding will come to mean for our crops,” Roberts said.

Hopefully we will continue to have sunshine and higher temperatures so that everything and everyone can dry out.