March 4, 2014
Flooding Isolates States of Rondonia and Acre from Rest of Brazil
In response to record high water levels on the Madeira River, the governor of the state of Rondonia, Confucio Moura, has requested that farmers and grain elevators in the state of Mato Grosso suspend their shipments of soybeans to the Port of Porto Velho for an undetermined period of time. The water level on the river reached a record of 18.55 meters over the weekend and it is expected to rise even further on Monday to 19.1 meters. Unfortunately, the forecast is calling for even more heavy rains to move into the region this week. The governor of the state of Rondonia has declared a state of emergency due to the flooding.
Highway BR-364 south of the city of Porto Velho remains closed due to high water and that is the only highway linking the states of Rondonia and Acre to the rest of Brazil. As a result, the city of Porto Velho and the state of Acre are now isolated from the rest of Brazil.
Farmers in western Mato Grosso generally send their soybeans to the Port of Porto Velho where they are barged to other ports on the Amazon River for export. With no timetable as to when highway BR-364 will be reopened, the grain elevators in western Mato Grosso must now either store the soybeans or send them to ports in southern Brazil which can be as much as 2,000 kilometers away.
There is no timetable as to when the highway will be reopened so state officials in the Brazilian state of Acre are looking to neighboring Peru for possible supplies of wheat and other basic food stuffs.