By Nick Carey
QUINCY, Illinois (Reuters) - Hundreds of volunteers on the surging Mississippi River piled sandbags atop strained levees on Tuesday as the worst Midwest flooding in 15 years delivered a blow to the U.S. economy and world food prices.
A levee broke in Gulfport, Illinois, sending muddy waters from the most important U.S. waterway cascading into nearby farmland and a few homes. No one was injured but authorities closed the bridge across the river to Burlington, Iowa.
Corn and soybean prices stayed near record levels as millions of acres of cropland have been lost or damaged in the world's largest grain exporter. Meat prices also soared, in line with the costs for feeding cattle, hogs and chickens.
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