"Corps Breaks Levee as Water Rising Elsewhere"

"WYATT, Mo. (AP) — A few momentary blasts, flashes of orange light, and the Mississippi River began pouring through a wide hole in a Missouri levee, intentionally blown open by the Army Corps of Engineers in the hope of saving a small Illinois town.

Even as the corps' carried out its bid to protect Cairo, Ill., floodwaters are rising downriver, including in Memphis, Tenn. And the breach in the Birds Point levee wasn't expected to ease those flooding concerns.

The Army Corps exploded the Birds Point levee after nightfall Monday, sacrificing 130,000 acres of rich farmland and about 100 homes in Missouri to spare the Illinois town of 2,800 residents that is at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

The breach should reduce water levels in Cairo and on another threatened levee in northern Kentucky, by up to 4 feet by late Tuesday or early Wednesday, corps officials say."

The Associated Press had the story May 3, 2011.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011