"Corps Preps for Levee Blast as Legal Tussle Looms"

"EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. -- As ominous as a floating hearse, twin barges creep up the Mississippi River carrying a payload of explosives bound for southeast Missouri and a levee facing the prospect of being sacrificed to spare a flood-threatened Illinois town just upriver.

The Army Corps of Engineers' tugboat-shoved shipments were to arrive Thursday, the same day Missouri stood poised to press a federal judge to block the corps from possibly blasting a gaping hole in the earthen berm to ease waters rising around Cairo, Ill., nestled where the swollen Mississippi and Ohio rivers meet.

Cairo's mayor, Judson Childs, says to go for it, that he prizes his city's 2,800 residents' lives more than perhaps 130,000 acres of farmland the Mississippi could swallow up if the Birds Point levee in Missouri's agriculturally based Mississippi County were to be blown open."

The Associated Press had the story April 28, 2011.

Thursday, April 28, 2011