After the past weeks’ disastrous floods, many in the rural Midwest are looking to the government not with gratitude but animosity. Folks in towns that requested levees back in 1993 were left, paradoxically, high and dry by the Army Corps of Engineers, which required small communities to pay more than $1 million for flood barriers.

Los Angeles Times:

After the great floods of 1993 swamped this tiny town in eastern Iowa, Mike Luck begged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help protect it from future disasters.

Corps officials responded that this community of fewer than 700 residents probably would have to chip in more than $1 million to help build the federally engineered levee system it sought, the former mayor recalled.

Unable to raise the funds, New Hartford built an earthen berm, which breached recently when Beaver Creek flooded, part of the widespread flooding in six Midwestern states.

“There was no way we could get that kind of money pulled together for a levee,” Luck said. “It took this town more than three years of bake sales and barbecues to raise enough money for new playground equipment.

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