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25 Missouri Farmers Sue Over Intentional Levee Breach

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WYATT, MO - MAY 03: Roy Presson (C) embraces his daughters Catherine (L) and Amanda as they stand on the edge of State Highway HH looking out at their family farm on May 3, 2011 at Wyatt, Missouri. The Presson home and 2,400 acres of land that they farmed was flooded last night when the Army Corps of Engineers blew a massive hole in a levee at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to help save the town of Cairo, Illinois. Residents of Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas are bracing for record flooding from the two rivers. (Getty/Scott Olson)

WYATT, MO – MAY 03: Roy Presson (C) embraces his daughters Catherine (L) and Amanda as they stand on the edge of State Highway HH looking out at their family farm on May 3, 2011 at Wyatt, Missouri. The Presson home and 2,400 acres of land that they farmed was flooded last night when the Army Corps of Engineers blew a massive hole in a levee at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to help save the town of Cairo, Illinois. Residents of Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas are bracing for record flooding from the two rivers. (Getty/Scott Olson)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A group of 25 southeast Missouri farmers is suing the federal government over its decision to blow a hole in a levee, causing their farmland and houses to flood.

Cape Girardeau attorney J. Michael Ponder filed the lawsuit Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detonated explosives on the Birds Point levee to ease pressure from the swelling Mississippi River.

The Southeast Missourian reports that the lawsuit claims that the government violated the farmers’ rights by taking their land without adequate compensation. The lawsuit seeks class-action status.

Ponder, who is from Charleston, says he has had cousins who were wiped out by the levee breach.

The corps has said that flow-age easements attached to the farmers’ property deeds allowed them to breach the levee.

Related:
Watch: Blowing Up Bird’s Point Levee
PHOTOS: Flooding in Missouri & Illinois

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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