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Army Corps opts to blow up levee, flood 130,000 acres in Missouri

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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-02-11 10:15 PM
Original message
Army Corps opts to blow up levee, flood 130,000 acres in Missouri
Edited on Mon May-02-11 10:19 PM by Viva_La_Revolution
Source: cnn

Starting Monday night, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will blow up a levee at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers due to record-high water levels in both rivers, said Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh.

At 5 p.m. Monday, water levels outside Cairo, Illinois, were 61.44 feet -- well above the flood stage of 40 feet -- according to the National Weather Service. Walsh ordered the intentional breach in hopes of alleviating pressure in the river system, even as it is expected to lead to the flooding of 130,000 acres of mostly farmland in Missouri.

"(The system) continues to be under enormous and unprecedented pressure," said Walsh, the president of the Mississippi River Commission. "Because of that ... I've ordered the district commander to operate the project."

The first phase of the explosive operation at the Birds Point-New Madrid levee should occur between 9 p.m. and midnight Monday. Walsh said that historic and still rising flood waters made it imperative to begin the operation as soon as possible. The multistage process is expected to continue through Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/05/02/missouri.levee.breach/...



AnotherWAYE2b‎ Sooo i just felt them blowing up the levy... Everything was shaking like an earthquake...
Twitter - 1 minute ago

llcroc‎ Our house shook in Clarkton--thought it was an earthquake. Turned on the news to learn they had just blown the levee! #BirdsPoint
Twitter - 2 minutes ago
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-02-11 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ya gotta be careful around them levys.
Sounds like that one blowed up good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dfoVqhQVyQ
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-02-11 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Army Corps breaks southeast Missouri levee - Update
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has exploded a large section of a Mississippi River levee in a desperate attempt to protect the Illinois town of Cairo (KAY'-roh) from rising floodwaters.

The corps says the break would help Cairo by diverting up to 4 feet of water off the river. As of Monday evening, river levels at Cairo were at historic highs, creating pressure on the floodwall protecting the town.

The blasts were likely to unleash a muddy torrent into empty farm fields.

Brief but bright orange flashes could be seen above the river as the explosions went off. The blast lasted only about two seconds. The darkness kept reporters, who were more than a half mile off the river from seeing how fast the water was moving into the farmland.
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SEVERE_WEATHE...
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-02-11 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I was just kidding - every time I see the phrase "blow up"
it makes me think of the old SCTV Morning Farm Report with John Candy and Joe Flaherty.

Incidentally I met Gen Walsh when he ran the Sacramento Branch of the Corps of Engineers and we suffered some crop damage due to a failed levy.

He impressed me as a very fair individual although the owners of the flooded lands will probably be pissed off at him tonight.
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-02-11 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'm not sure why such heavy rains would lead them to blow
up levees.... and why in this area? Isn't' this the Andrea Vault line area ripe for an earth quake if those plate tectonics are played with? I don't know, but this doesn't sound good to me..
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-02-11 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I may be wrong, but it seems to me it'd take thermonuclear devices
of several megatons or more, to trigger an earthquake anywhere.
:shrug:
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-02-11 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. Cairo is already a wasteland.
If there is anyplace to be sacrificed, there is little to be lost there... as long as the last remaining residents make out safely.
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Rincewind Donating Member (682 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Yeah, little to be lost,
just people's homes and possessions, maybe pets that they can't take with them. Plus whatever people that can't, or wont leave. I guess that it's not your home, so that makes it all right.
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. What a horrible comment...
I'm not sure what your history with the area is, however there is lots to be lost.

It may not be YOUR possessions, but they do belong to someone and I'm sure they care...
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. You're right. My apologies.
I wasn't really thinking...I had seen a post on DU a few months back about Cairo and how it has already been mostly devastated already by the bad economy and how there were virtually no business left. A Google street view tour pretty much confirms that...BUT, there are still businesses, homes, people living there. My comment was insensitive, and actually pretty out of character. Again, my apologies to the people of Cairo, and to anyone else who was offended by my careless post.

.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Yeah, who cares about poor African-American folks.
:sarcasm:
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Why? Because it's largely African American?
Like, oh, I don't know, New Orleans? :wtf:
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Why don't you read the fucking posts before you make such absurd accusations!
Edited on Tue May-03-11 05:22 PM by Atman
I don't know ANYTHING about Cairo's demographics. It had nothing to do with my post. Oh, wait...I had already apologized and explained why I had -- wrongly -- said what I said. But some people just like to make assumptions because that's what we do on DU. Piss off. I don't need to apologize to you, because you don't have a clue what you're talking about. FOUR HOURS after I posted, you're accusing me of hating African Americans. Get a fucking clue, moran.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I missed the apology post.
That's more than most people ever do around here. Sorry about that.

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pfitz59 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
8. Need more flood bypasses
Yolo bypass in Sacramento has floodgates to let water into empty farmland. makes good fertilizer with new layer of mud. The Snohomish river in Washington State has same thing. turns floodplains into a temporary lake until waters recede.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. And wider floodplains
Our biggest problem is that we hem rivers in with levees built right at the waters edge. When those rivers inevitably swell, they can only go so far. Channel levees hold the water back during "predicted" annual surges, but they tend to fail catastrophically during unusual rain events. Setback levees, like bypass channels, provide the rivers with enough room to swell, while still protecting urban areas and critical infrastructure.
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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
16. When the levee breaks you have no place to stay
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