Andy Spiegel looks out at the water and shakes his head. “We’ve never had a flood this time of year. This is unknown territory for us,” he said. “It does look like it is going be a lot longer lasting than before.”
Spiegel can only wonder what the next few months have in store. “We worry about big rains,” he said. “They usually come in the spring and summer.” Additional moisture will only add to the growing problem from the 2019 Missouri River flood.
Only eight years ago, the family endured another catastrophic flood event. “In 2011, it was around for a long time, but that happened in summer,” Spiegel said. “The water receded by fall. Then we had great weather to repair the damage.”
This year, he is not that optimistic. “They are talking multiyear project to get levees fixed,” he said. “We are talking unprotected crop ground for years to come.”
Spiegel shared his concerns with USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey. Northey recently visited the family farm north of Watson, Mo., in Atchison County to view the devastation up close.
Click through the slideshow for a view of more of Northey’s trip.