Platte County Farmers Prepare as Missouri River Rises

HomesFloods and FloodingDisasters and AccidentsBob JohnsonTed Johnson

The Johnson family has farmed in Rushville, Missouri, since the 1840's, and while it has never exactly been an easy lifestyle for the family, losing crops to floods four out of the last five years hasn't helped.

This time around, the Platte County farmers say that they aren't taking any chances against the rising waters. Ted Johnson says that he and his family lost everything in the flood of 1993, but this time he's taking some action.

"This time I decided to buy a semi trailer, put everything in there because it's about the same size as one of those storage sheds, and I have two of them. One for my household stuff, and one for my shop stuff and my farm stuff," said Johnson, who says that he plans to keep the trailer on a friend's farm until the water recedes. "We'll probably come back, unless my wife don't want to, and then, well, you can never can tell. If it destroys my house, we may buy a house some place else."

Johnson says that he built his house about two feet higher than the levee, and while he hopes that it's safe, his brother Bob says that their crops are likely going to be lost.

"This year could have been a bumper year for us," said Bob Johnson, who says he could have planted over 200 acres of corn and harvest 200 bushels an acre, selling it for for $7 a bushel - making more than $280,000. "We've never had that before. In a great year when the prices are going to be high we are not going to be able to harvest.and it's sad."

The Johnson's say that they have crop insurance, but it won't cover the total loss. But they say that they are glad that they are able to salvage what they can before the flood hits their property.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times