Army Corps prepares to blast levee to save Cairo

Apr 28, 2011 Full story: www.chicagotribune.com 56

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Since: Dec 08

Medina, TX

#1 Apr 28, 2011
I would imagine that losing 130,000 acres of good bottom land would have more of an impact, economically speaking, than moving 2800 people and rebuilding their homes and businesses. This blowing up the levee sounds like a huge government cluster fluck waiting to happen.
OLDSCHOOL71

Minneapolis, MN

#2 Apr 28, 2011
The government created this floodway after the great flood of 1927. Every deed or government lease of farmaland in that area, has this notation in the title documents. If you farm out there you are aware of this risk, this is not the first time that it has been discussed, several times between 1959 and 1976, when I left Cairo and Charleston, there were preliminary discussions of what could happen.

It is not just the City of Cairo, that is at risk, there are other cities in the Bootheel, that will be at risk, as they are lower than other parts. Sikeston is particularly vulnerable. IN 1937, the water from the breached levee at Birds point lapped at the western edge of Charleston.

If the water goes to 61.5, it will not matter. It could overtop the levee at Birds Point, it was designed for 62 feet, however, I cannot say that all of it remains at 62, levees are subject to subside in places.

I pray for Sunshine, dry weather, gentile winds and that this terrible choice not have to be made.

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#3 Apr 28, 2011
sailorman2 wrote:
I would imagine that losing 130,000 acres of good bottom land would have more of an impact, economically speaking, than moving 2800 people and rebuilding their homes and businesses. This blowing up the levee sounds like a huge government cluster fluck waiting to happen.
And still, there is no such thing as CLIMATE CHANGE. It is a 'liberal socialist plot'

THe Army Corps is not actually planning anything. There is no record flood. There is no threat of inundation to towns, or farm fields.

None of this is happening.
Go back to your hole in the sand, and put your head back in.
Don't worry, be happy.

Since: Dec 08

Medina, TX

#4 Apr 28, 2011
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
And still, there is no such thing as CLIMATE CHANGE. It is a 'liberal socialist plot'
THe Army Corps is not actually planning anything. There is no record flood. There is no threat of inundation to towns, or farm fields.
None of this is happening.
Go back to your hole in the sand, and put your head back in.
Don't worry, be happy.
I will try to say this as simply as I can. We all agree that the climate is changing, doing strange and wierd things. Having said that, it does NOT mean that man is causing it. How many thousands of times during earths 3 billion+ years has the climate changed drastically? How about the FACT that Greenland used to be green and was an agricultural society. Then it froze. How about the little ice age 1300 years go. Never mind. You and I have had this discussion before and you still refuse to examine the FACTS. Just keep on keeping on drinking that koolaid.

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#6 Apr 28, 2011
sailorman2 wrote:
<quoted text>I will try to say this as simply as I can. We all agree that the climate is changing, doing strange and wierd things. Having said that, it does NOT mean that man is causing it. How many thousands of times during earths 3 billion+ years has the climate changed drastically? How about the FACT that Greenland used to be green and was an agricultural society. Then it froze. How about the little ice age 1300 years go. Never mind. You and I have had this discussion before and you still refuse to examine the FACTS. Just keep on keeping on drinking that koolaid.
Natural climate change certainly does occur, and up to now, it has been an evolution that took centuries.

The climate change we are seeing now in occuring over decades.

For your example, your use of Greenland; the changes there occurred over four century spans of intervals.

A graph of our increasing CO2 emissions is exactly tracked by a graph of rising global temperatures (Global Warming.)

At some point, you have to abandon your cultist beliefs, and sloganeering and either conclude that Global warming, and climate change are real conditions caused by burning fossil fuels; or that GOD has abandoned us to the Devil.

Your third hypothesis, that this murderous weather is due to James Watt's cow farts, or some other natural source, has no theoretical underpinnings.

It is just a bald statement, unsubstantiated by experience or supported theory, a cultist belief.
FYI

Cairo, IL

#7 Apr 28, 2011
It's true that the gauge at Cairo is the standard used to determine whether to blow the floodplain levee or not. However, it's not true that Cairo is the only town that will be effected if it isn't.

Breaking the levee at Cairo because of inconsideration and selfishness could kill those of us who remain behind to fight the good fight and to take care of the business that must be taken care of whether the town is evacuated or not. It will not relieve the pressure from the remaining towns up and down the river valleys because Cairo is only a small bowl compared to the area of dirt that is supposed to relieve the rivers of their impact.

I hear over and over how the government will take care of us if the levee is breached. Apparently even the Missouri politicians are blissfully unaware of how untrue that statement is. Paying off a few farmers for lost dollars is different than replacing a lifetime of hardwork and investment in your home. It can't be done.
I have lived in hurricane country and I know the lie.

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#8 Apr 28, 2011
FYI wrote:
It's true that the gauge at Cairo is the standard used to determine whether to blow the floodplain levee or not. However, it's not true that Cairo is the only town that will be effected if it isn't.
Breaking the levee at Cairo because of inconsideration and selfishness could kill those of us who remain behind to fight the good fight and to take care of the business that must be taken care of whether the town is evacuated or not. It will not relieve the pressure from the remaining towns up and down the river valleys because Cairo is only a small bowl compared to the area of dirt that is supposed to relieve the rivers of their impact.
I hear over and over how the government will take care of us if the levee is breached. Apparently even the Missouri politicians are blissfully unaware of how untrue that statement is. Paying off a few farmers for lost dollars is different than replacing a lifetime of hardwork and investment in your home. It can't be done.
I have lived in hurricane country and I know the lie.
My heart is with you. Good luck. nature meant for those farmlandas to be flooded; they are improved by flooding. Very little is lost when the water receeds.

What is the cost, when the water receeds?
What costs more, homes or fences?
guest

Cairo, IL

#9 Apr 28, 2011
Way to go Childs & Wilson!

http://www.kfvs12.com/story/14528745/cairo-ci...

Cairo city officials say Corp of Engineers must open Birds Point floodway

Posted: Apr 27, 2011 7:50 PM CDT Updated: Apr 27, 2011 10:59 PM CDT

CAIRO, IL (KFVS)-
City leaders in Cairo are growing very concerned by the hour about the flooding situation.

Flood stage in Cairo is at 40 feet, and the river is expected to crest soon at 60.5.

According to Mayor Judson Childs, Cairo is on the verge of being the next 9th ward of New Orleans if the Corp of Engineers fails to open the Birds Point Floodway South of Cairo.

The intentional levee break in Mississippi County, Missouri would flood thousands of acres of farmland.

"I think once you start comparing lives with land, I think it's a darn shame," said Mayor Childs. "I'm terribly upset about it and I don't care who knows it."

The mayor and other city leaders say they won't simply sit by and watch the city flood, which would impact 3,000 people.

Former Mayor James Wilson said, "At 60 feet on the gauge in Cairo, the Corp of Engineers needs to do what the law says to open up the floodway in Missouri to take the pressure off the levees in Cairo. God help us, may be that would save the people in Cairo from disaster."

Cairo city leaders are urging the Governor, Senators, and Congressmen in Illinois to lead the fight for the city of Cairo and surrounding areas.
guest

Cairo, IL

#10 Apr 28, 2011
http://www.kfvs12.com/story/14529609/copy-mad...

Madigan to intervene in Missouri levee lawsuit

CHICAGO (AP)- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is entering the debate over destroying part of a Missouri levee to protect an Illinois town from flooding.

Madigan on Thursday is to seek to intervene in a lawsuit from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. Deputy press secretary Maura Possley says Madigan will "do anything she can" to protect Illinoisans by defeating Missouri's motion to block the effort.

Possley said the Illinois attorney general will file a motion asking to be added as a defendant with the Army Corps.

The Army Corps has said it would wait until this weekend to decide if it's necessary to destroy part of the Birds Point levee in Missouri's Mississippi County to protect the Illinois town of Cairo (KAY'-roh).

Cairo sits near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
guest

Cairo, IL

#11 Apr 28, 2011
http://www.kfvs12.com/story/14524933/decision...

Decision maker in levee explosion comes to East Prairie
Posted: Apr 27, 2011 11:52 AM CDT Updated: Apr 27, 2011 6:01 PM CDT

By Kathy Sweeney - bio | email

EAST PRAIRIE, MO (KFVS)-
The man who has the final say on whether or not the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will implement the final step in its Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway Operations Plan and intentionally breach the levee will be in East Prairie Wednesday afternoon.

According to U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson's office, Major General Michael Walsh will answer questions from the public and local leaders at 3 p.m.

Walsh will be at the Eagle Courier building on Clay Morgan Road in East Prairie, along with Representative Emerson, Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, and Mississippi County officials.

The Corps continues implementing the FOP, which is designed to lower flood stages and pressure on the entire system during major flood events.

Barges carrying the equipment needed to create an in-flow and an out-flow breach in the levee are headed toward Mississippi County.

Major General Walsh, the president of the Mississippi River Commission and Commander of the Mississippi Valley Division of the Corps, will make the final decision on whether or not the levee will be artificially breached.

That final step does not become an option until the river level at Cairo, IL reaches 61 feet.

According to Emerson's office, there is also a provision in the plan to "allow the natural overtopping of the upper fuse plug section" prior to making a decision on breaching the levee.

Thursday afternoon, the court battle involving the Floodway plan comes to Cape Girardeau.

According to his spokeswoman, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster will argue a motion to prohibit the Corps from breaching the levee.

Koster will appear with attorneys from his Agriculture and Environmental Division.

The hearing is set for 1:30pm in front of Judge Stephen Limbaugh at the Federal Courthouse in Cape.
guest

Cairo, IL

#12 Apr 28, 2011
http://www.kfvs12.com/story/14518269/army-cor...

Historic conditions" prompt Corps to activate levee plan

Posted: Apr 26, 2011 3:34 PM CDT Updated: Apr 27, 2011 2:46 PM CDT

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, MO (KFVS/AP)-
A representative from the Army Corps of Engineers office in Memphis tells Heartland News "historic conditions on the river" prompted the Corps to activate the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway Operations Plan.

Jim Bodrun joined leaders from Mississippi County and U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson at a meeting Tuesday afternoon in East Prairie to talk about the plan that could lead to the artificial breach of the levee that runs from New Madrid, MO to Cairo, IL.

"We're facing historic conditions on the river," Bodrun said. "And the plan of operation of the floodway is part of our overall system of flood control works. We have to get ready to operate it just in case it's needed."

Representative Emerson says the Corps should not intentionally break the levee, "no ifs, ands, or buts" and has vowed to do everything in her power to keep that from happening.

Tuesday, the Corps sent a towboat and barge from Memphis carrying the equipment that would be needed to artificially breach the levee. Mississippi County Presiding Commissioner Carlin Bennett says that equipment had not yet arrived early Wednesday afternoon.

The final step of the plan would be the intentional breach of the levee at areas known as "fuse plugs". Bennett tells Heartland News there are three fuse plugs; one at Birds Point, one at Dorena, and one at 34 Corner. According to Bennett, a long metal pipe runs the length of the levee, and explosives would be placed into those pipes at the fuse plugs. They would then be blown, he says, "south to north at different times".

"Our main concern right now is to be ready in case we're called on to operate the plan," Bodrun said.

The floodway is 35 miles long and varies from 4 to 12 miles in width. Its area comprises about 133,000 acres or 205 square miles of land.

The final stage of the plan cannot be activated unless and until the river rises above 61 feet at Cairo. It is currently projected to crest at 60.5 feet May 1.

A representative from Emerson's office also tells Heartland News a 1986 revision of the FOP states the intention of the full plan is to allow a "natural overtopping of the upper fuse plug section prior to determining the necessity to crevasse the levee".

Attorney General Chris Koster and a state agency are suing to stop the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from destroying the levee in the Bootheel.

Koster says in a news release that he and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday asking a judge to stop the corps from intentionally breaching the levee at Birds Point in Mississippi County.

Koster says it would cause flooding of up to 130,000 acres of land. Governor. Jay Nixon is also opposed to the corps' plans.

Earlier Monday Governor. Jay Nixon issued a statement Monday regarding plans by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to intentionally breach the Birds Point levee along the Mississippi River:

"Earlier today, I mobilized the Missouri National Guard to respond to significant flooding across southern and southeastern Missouri, and waters across that region continue to rise. At this critical time, I have serious concerns about plans by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to intentionally breach the Birds Point levee along the Mississippi River near Mississippi and New Madrid counties. Intentionally breaching this levee would affect hundreds of Missouri families and pour a tremendous amount of water into 130,000 acres of prime farmland. As Missouri families deal with this dangerous flooding, intentionally breaching this levee would be a harmful and inappropriate action."
guest

Cairo, IL

#13 Apr 28, 2011
cont.

The Missouri Farm Bureau released a statement Tuesday against the plant to intentionally break the levee.

The mayor of Cairo says he endorses the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to break the levee at Birds Point in Mississippi County, Mo. The move would relieve upstream pressure, protecting Cairo.

Illinois Lt. Governor. Sheila Simon defends the idea of intentionally breaching a Missouri levee to reduce flooding in Cairo.
guest

Cairo, IL

#14 Apr 28, 2011
So I guess we wait to see what happens in court today at 1:30.

Anyone know how many people will fit in the courtroom?
Swen Goolie

Marshall, MN

#15 Apr 28, 2011
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
And still, there is no such thing as CLIMATE CHANGE. It is a 'liberal socialist plot'
THe Army Corps is not actually planning anything. There is no record flood. There is no threat of inundation to towns, or farm fields.
None of this is happening.
Go back to your hole in the sand, and put your head back in.
Don't worry, be happy.
Gee, it rained, alot, not the first time and not the last. May or may not be climate change, but it certainly is weather. If you would bother to look at a topo map, you will see that that whole section of the midwest used to be underwater. Also, before the levees were built, those towns and bottomlands flooded every year, and drained rapidly, because those levees work in both directions, keep water in the river, and out. I used to live near Cairo, and been to many the cities which used to flood, and dry out, before the levees were built. Problem now is that the water inside the levee is constrained, so the damage will be greater than if the levee had never been built.

Since: Dec 08

Medina, TX

#16 Apr 28, 2011
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
Natural climate change certainly does occur, and up to now, it has been an evolution that took centuries.
The climate change we are seeing now in occuring over decades.
For your example, your use of Greenland; the changes there occurred over four century spans of intervals.
A graph of our increasing CO2 emissions is exactly tracked by a graph of rising global temperatures (Global Warming.)
At some point, you have to abandon your cultist beliefs, and sloganeering and either conclude that Global warming, and climate change are real conditions caused by burning fossil fuels; or that GOD has abandoned us to the Devil.
Your third hypothesis, that this murderous weather is due to James Watt's cow farts, or some other natural source, has no theoretical underpinnings.
It is just a bald statement, unsubstantiated by experience or supported theory, a cultist belief.
Oh? Please explain to me why a frozen mastadon was found in Siberia with fresh dandelions and leaves in its stomach. That was a pretty fast freeze wasn't it? I don't think there were very many SUV's and incandesent light bulbs back then do you? Come on.....Look a PROVEN HISTORY as it concerns climate change
OLDSCHOOL71

Minneapolis, MN

#17 Apr 28, 2011
I have tried to be civil in these posts, however, I will lay into the naysayers on global warming.

I was born in 1953, at the time of my birth there were less than 2 Billion souls on this earth. At the present time, there are currently slightly less than 7 Bil.

It took all of history up about 1900 for humanity to reach 1 Billion. I have watched what has happened in SEMO, SOUTHern ILL, Western KY and up and down the Miss flyway. Places that were wild and free, have been tilled and drained, the water races off the fields and so so on.

If you do not believe, that Human activity is affecting the climate, look at the record of CO2 in the Greenland glacier.

Politicians are capable of the truth, but more likely to distort the truth for their political gain, I for one will go with the 9 percent of the scientist who think we are approaching a tipping point.
guest

Cairo, IL

#18 Apr 28, 2011
http://www.semissourian.com/story/print/17228...

Corps working to prevent breach, ready if necessary

Thursday, April 28, 2011 ~ Updated 4:42 PM
By M.D. Kittle ~ Southeast Missourian


U.S. Army Corps of Engineer officials say they are doing everything they can to avoid blowing up the Birds Point levee.
Col. Vernie L. Reichling, commander of the corps' Memphis district, at a press conference Thursday afternoon said water levels at the Cairo, Ill., river gauge have climbed only slightly -- still a few feet away from the danger zone of 60.5 feet.

Relief is coming from corps system operators in the smaller and major tributaries.

"Hold as much as you can, that is our message to our brothers north and east of us," Reichling said.

Since Sunday more than 200 people have been deployed in flood fighting in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois so far at a cost of $3.3 million, including personnel, sandbagging and prep work on the levees.

But the situation remains tense. Forecasts call for the Cairo river stage to hit 60.5 feet as soon as Sunday, and the water is expected to remain at that level for several days putting historically powerful pressure on the levees.

While the corps is doing everything it can, Reichling said, if conditions warrant, the breach plan must go into effect.

Answering a question about the legal battles currently ensuing in Cape Girardeau over the corps' plan, Reichling said "I'm a soldier. I've been given an order. I'm going to go forward with that order.

"At this point we are moving forward with our preparations."
Read This

Cairo, IL

#19 Apr 28, 2011
I can't read the people's remarks for all the news reports. How about getting your own thread.
2funny

Cairo, IL

#20 Apr 28, 2011
now that's just not nice. let the guy. whoops is is a gal. give us all the news they can. don't want to be left out in the water.
guest

Cairo, IL

#21 Apr 29, 2011
Look at these charts. It shows it's about more than just Cairo.

http://www.semissourian.com/files/bpnm_floodw...

http://www.semissourian.com/files/bpnm_floodw...

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