FOOD: Damage

In six states rivers settled back into their banks. The dead: 21. The homeless: 50,000 families (160,000 people). The damage: 2,000,000 seeded acres—in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma—rain-soaked, mud-packed.

Along the shambles of the Illinois River and down 218 miles of cluttered Mississippi, the Red Cross and other relief workers rustled up army tents, passed out hot food, herded refugees into improvised typhoid-quarantine stations. Army engineers who had stood guard at flood-menaced war plants, and the 38,000 soldiers who had fought the crumbling levees, now helped the homeless.

Food Administrator Chester C. Davis called governors, farm commissioners and...

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