Economic Effects of the Mississippi Flood

January 9, 1928

Report Outline
The Economic Background
Loss and Damage in 1927 Floods
Special Focus

Economic conditions in the area inundated by the 1927 Mississippi flood have not yet. been restored to normal, although the flood was practically over by the middle of last June and the great majority of the refugees were back in their homes a month later. Recent reports from the flood districts of the lower Mississippi Valley state that some 50,000 flood sufferers face destitution if the outside aid they are now receiving is withdrawn, that many thousands of others have been ruined and will have a difficult struggle to reestablish themselves at their former standards of living and that the economic life of the inundated area has been so thoroughly disrupted that a considerable period will elapse before it can be fully restored.

“While the economic conditions have been much improved, yet the majority of the flood sufferers face problems still unsolved,” L. O. Crosby, Director of Flood Relief and Rehabilitation for Mississippi, reported at the beginning of 1928. In much of the area the people have made practically no crops except such feed crops as pea vine and soy bean hay which will possibly carry their stock through the winter. Some of the planters even failed to get more than a very light crop of this hay; others…have enough to carry them along until their alfalfa and oats come on, but they have made no money crops whatever.

Judge W. A. Wall, representing the flood sufferers before the House Flood Control Committee, said, “The 1927 flood left us penniless and in debt,” and former Senator Le Roy Percy of Mississippi said, “We are bankrupt; all of the 29 levee districts are up to their limit in taxing capacity.” These are typical of statements that have come recently from prominent citizens of the lower Mississippi Valley in support of their claim for appropriate measures of rehabilitation and measures of river control that will protect them against a recurrence of disastrous floods.

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Jan. 09, 1928  Economic Effects of the Mississippi Flood
May 19, 1927  Mississippi River Flood Relief and Control
Economic Development
Emergency Preparedness
Natural Disasters