The Unexpected Economic Impacts of Flooding

It’s strange to drive on I-29 and be the only car, going either direction. Period. It’s like a scene from a movie.

Since parts of it are closed due to the flooding, what few stretches remain open, mainly for the locals, are deserted. I’ve driven this highway from Kansas City to Omaha too many times to count and this is the first time I’ve had it all to myself.

This is going to have long-lasting economic effects on these local communities.

The farmers will most likely get SOME compensation for the lost crops and damaged buildings. But the businesses not destroyed by the flood waters will get no reimbursement for lost revenue.

There also won’t be reimbursement for people who can’t cross the river for work. To get to the other side, which used to take minutes, now takes three hours. You either drive south to St. Joseph or north to Something Something, Nebraska. People are having to rent apartments near their jobs just to keep a job.

What we see in the news and what we see in the eyes of people affected by this reality is very different.

Some will quit. Some will start again. Just like in 2011 when it happened.

But what about the next time?

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