/Hosemann, Hood sue federal government over flooding, say US action resulted in lost income for school districts

Hosemann, Hood sue federal government over flooding, say US action resulted in lost income for school districts

They claim that the decision resulted in approximately 8,000 acres (16th) of southwest Mississippi school land being flooded for significant periods each year. This affected the ability of school district to make income from the land through the sale or hardwood timber. Hosemann stated in a statement that “This is an historic day for our country.” “Today, our State and three public schools districts allege that the United States has taken property deeded from Mississippi 200 years ago.” The state wants at least $25 million to go to these local school districts. The U.S. Congress set aside a 16th section from 36 section townships, a six-mile by six-mile square, for the benefit public schools in most of the country in the 1780s. The Old River Control Structure was built by Congress in 1950 to stop the Mississippi River from changing its course. The river south from Natchez was beginning its westward flow into the Atchafalaya River, heading towards Morgan City. The fear was that the river’s massive flow would cause havoc in the Atchafalaya River, a major source of livelihood for many southeast Louisiana communities. Hosemann announced the lawsuit at a press conference on Monday. He said that Mississippi did not doubt the need to take steps to protect New Orleans or other southern Louisiana towns that are dependent upon the Mississippi River. However, he stated that the federal government should have paid compensation to Mississippi. In later Supreme Court decisions, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated that “a temporary flood” is the act of a government entity taking land. The landowner must receive compensation if a governmental entity seizes land by eminent domain. Hosemann stated that the flooding of the 16th-section land in recent years has been more than just temporary. There were 75 flood days in the lands between 1950 and 1971. There were 1,061 flood-days between 1973 and 2016. The problem is that the flow was forced back to its natural course and more silt built up on the riverbed, increasing the likelihood of flooding. Hosemann stated that he doesn’t believe climate change is responsible for the increase in flooding in the region. In the lawsuit are also involved school districts in Claiborne and Adams counties. Hood stated that private landowners in southwest Mississippi will likely pursue similar claims after the state lawsuit. Hood stated that the federal government caused floods on thousands of acres in southwest Mississippi, killing timber and taking property from Mississippians. “…I am responsible for ensuring that no person, company or federal government takes property away from the state, its citizens, and especially our children, without paying for it.” Hosemann stated that the case was complex. The state hired private attorneys to help. They will only be paid if the state wins.