|1:59 PM EDT||
Rick Crawford, R-AR 1st
Mr. CRAWFORD. I would like to congratulate and recognize the tremendous work of the Appropriations Committee in responding to the flooding disasters during a time of tight budget restrictions. There were tough choices that had to be made, but I believe the committee effectively prioritized the needs of the American people.
Madam Chair, my district in Arkansas was severely impacted by the recent floods that wrought devastation in the Mid-South and the Lower Mississippi Valley. Preliminary estimates of crop damage surpassed a half a billion dollars, and communities were evacuated because the levees struggled to retain the floodwaters.
The St. Francis levee district suffered the most damage because the water levels were so high the water enclosed entire areas and almost completely flooded Cross and Woodroof Counties in my district. In St. Francis County alone, hundreds of homes were underwater and tens of thousands of acres of farmland were flooded as well.
In another part of my district, heavy flooding devastated all areas of Des Arc in Prairie County. The community of Spring Lake, which is home to 32 families, was completely flooded with several feet of water. So far, only three of those families have moved back into their homes. The community of Smith Road, which is home to 18 families, was completely flooded as well. So far, not one of those families has been able to move back to their homes. On top of the damage to these communities, more than
50,000 acres of farmland were flooded. The entire corn crop was wiped out and most of the rice crop as well.
Mr. Chair, the flood disasters across the Mid-South have taken a huge toll on our way of life and have touched nearly everyone in my district. We must ensure we retain the vital funding to the Corps of Engineers so that we can repair and reinforce our levees so that citizens in the lower Mississippi Valley and the Mid-South can live in safety and our economy can recover.
With that, I yield back the balance of my time.