It's Much Worse Than It Looks On TV

Flood waters from the Cedar River surround buildings in the southeastern edge of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, June 12, 2008. Heavy rains continued to pound large portions of Iowa, with officials saying they expect rivers to crest at record levels in many portions of the state.
AP Photo/Steve Pope
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
The ripple effect. We won't know for some time just how costly the Midwest floods will be. The damage to buildings and property will be easy to calculate.

But, then there's the barge traffic stopped in place on the Mississippi and untold hundreds of thousands of bushels of corn and soy beans stuck on board, cooking in the heat. This says nothing of this year's crops.

Friends in the Midwest say it's much worse than it looks on TV. Even miles away from the rivers in many places where crops ought to be there is standing water. The USDA issued new forecasts for crops this week and the future does not look great. So the price of corn could go ever higher, which means you'll pay more for beef and chicken.

When the water recedes communities will have to decide whether or not to rebuild on higher ground and then there likely will be calls for better higher levees. The estimated price tag in Cedar Rapids alone is a billion dollars and this flood is far from done.

By Harry Smith