Bush to Visit Flood-Ravaged Towns in US MidwestBy VOA News
19 June 2008

U.S. President George Bush will travel to Iowa Thursday to get a a first-hand look at the damage caused last week when the Mississippi River swelled and spilled over its banks.

A flag flies in front of a flooded home in the small town of Oakville, Iowa, 17 Jun 2008The surging river has swamped nearly two dozen levees along the waterway, submerging dozens of small towns in Iowa and the neighboring states of Illinois and Missouri. The floods have also destroyed thousands of hectares of agricultural crops, including corn and wheat, a loss experts fear will trigger higher food prices.

Residents have joined members of the National Guard in a desperate effort to fill sandbags needed to shore up threatened levees.

Concerns over pollution are also growing, as the floodwaters carried chemicals and raw sewage from damaged factories and wastewater plants.

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