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May 12, 2011 10:52 AM by Nichole Larkey & AP

River tops levee, floods north LA farmland

BUNCHE'S BEND, La. (AP) - The Mississippi River has topped a levee north of Lake Providence in extreme northeast Louisiana, flooding croplands as an
effort by farmers to shore up the 100-year-old structure was thwarted by the rising river.
About 12,000 acres behind the 18-mile-long levee, mostly planted in corn and soybeans, was flooding Thursday morning though no homes appeared to be in danger in the thinly populated area.
Maintenance on the levee was abandoned years ago after another, higher levee was built farther back off the river.
Area farmers had pooled together and about 40 worked in recent days to stack about 1,800, 1-ton sandbags along the levee's weakest
points. But the river is cresting higher than originally forecast
and it topped the levee overnight.


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