While much of the nation struggles with a record-setting heat wave and untold hundreds of millions of dollars in crop damage, a stretch of Idaho's panhandle is experiencing the exact opposite problem: an overabundance of rain. In fact, farmers in the Kootenai River valley say they are facing millions of dollars in lost crops because of what they call "flooding from below."
This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that abnormally high water tables, being elevated by extended flows in the Kootenai River, are being met by flooding and seepage from June's above-average rainfalls.
One farmer, who grows winter wheat, canola, blue grass and barley, estimated that he would suffer approximately $4 million in wheat losses this year.
"Every one of the farmers in the valley has some problems," Bob Olson told the Press. "Some of them are worse than others."
He also lamented that many of the growers don't carry crop insurance.
"Crop insurance is something we don't normally buy in this valley because you don't normally need it," Olson told the Press. "The only thing I insure for is fire."