Mary Delach Leonard & Robert Koenig
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With rivers rising in 2011, the Army Corps of Engineers made the decision to activate the New Madrid Floodway and flood more than 100,000 acres of land.
Some framed the choice as lives – citizens of Cairo, Ill., and other towns along the river – versus land. From examining policies in Washington to talking with people with destroyed homes and disrupted lives, these stories show the reality is more complex.
We also visited a southeast Missouri town whose flooding was caused by heavy rains that overwhelmed a long-standing drainage system.