Arkansas rancher Don Rodgers said his area is short 17 inches of rain this year. He said even a couple of inches from Isaac would make a significant difference because he would have water for his cattle and might be able to grow some forage for this winter.
"I'm very sorry for the people in the path of this hurricane. I'm just praying we can get some of the benefit from it up here," said Rodgers, who lives in Crawford County, a rural area near the Oklahoma border.
Heavy rain, especially if the storm pushes into the Ohio River Valley, would improve traffic on the Mississippi River, where low water levels have been a problem for weeks, National Weather Service hydrologist Marty Pope said. Pope said any rise in the river would help clear clogged shipping channels, which have caused temporary closures.
"If that happens, it would help us out quite a bit," Pope said.
The low water levels also have prompted companies to reduce loads on barges carrying goods ranging from grain to gasoline, which can mean big losses for shippers.Another confirmation that Adam Smith knew of what he spoke in his Diamond-Water Paradox; location, time and circumstance matter in valuation. A glass of water has very different meaning to someone stranded in the Sahara than to someone whose basement is flooded.