Nearly A Year Later After Len Small Levee Failed, Alexander County Farmers Say Future Looks Bleak

May 28, 2020

Miller City Blacktop runs alongside the eastern side of the Mississippi in Alexander County outside of Olive Branch. When the Len Small Levee failed in July 2019, the road was destroyed as the river current washed out the pavement.
Credit Amelia Blakely

The Great Midwestern Flood of 2019 cost Alexander County millions of dollars in damages and the hope of a future for its farmers along the Mississippi River. 

Months-long flooding and a breached levee now leave farmers, whose fields are filled with sand, debris, runaway barges, scoured several feet deep, or inaccesible because of high water covering the road, unsure of what to do next. 

Adam Thomas and Jim Tafflinger are two farmers in Alexander County who have thousands of acres that unfarmable because of flooding and are not included in the zoning of farmland that was marked to be bought out by the federal government programs. 

One year after the flood, both farmers struggle envisioning a future in Alexander County but have decided not to give up yet.