Stories from Saturday, April 30, 2011
Barges with explosives move to Birds Point, levee blast still undecided
SIKESTON -- Although barges carrying explosives that would blow the Birds Point New Madrid Floodway were moved to the detonation area, no final decision has been made to blast the levee. "We still have a lot of decisions to make," said Major General Michael J. Walsh, commander of the Mississippi Valley Division, commander of the Task Force Hope and president-designee for the Mississippi River Commission, at a Saturday news conference...
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Explosives being moved closer to levee
rvice. A flood wall protects Cairo and its 2,800 residents up to 64 feet, but the Corps of Engineers fears that water pressure from the lingering river crest could compromise the wall and earthen levees that protect other parts of the city.
"It's all about how much pressure is being put on the levee system," Pogue said.
A spokesman for Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said state officials are now focused on protecting the homes, agricultural equipment and other property in the heavily farmed flood plain below the levee. About 230 residents were evacuated from the floodway, while as many as 800 were asked to leave surrounding areas.
"The entire area has been evacuated now," spokesman Scott Holste said, adding that more than 500 Missouri National Guard troops are helping local law enforcement at checkpoints around the area.
It's unclear whether Missouri could pursue further legal action. That would be up to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, Holste said. Koster's office didn't immediately respond to phone calls or emails Saturday from The Associated Press.
In Cairo, Mayor Judson Childs was relieved by the appellate court's decision.
"I've been saying all along that we can't take land over lives," he said, adding that inmates from the local prison were working Saturday to fill sand bags. "Right now we're waiting and watching, basically."
More Missouri National Guard troops head to SE Mo.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- More troops from the Missouri National Guard are heading to southeastern Missouri near a levee along the Mississippi River. A federal appeals court on Saturday cleared the way for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blow a hole through the levee to try to prevent flooding in a small Illinois town upriver. The Army Corps is still weighing its options...
NEW MADRID -- Gracie Mays, 87, died April 25, 2011, in New Madrid.
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