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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Process of executing plan taking longer than Corps expected

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

SIKESTON -- When doing something for the first time, there is typically a learning curve.

And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is going through just that as it activates the Birds Point New Madrid Floodway.

"This is our first execution since the plan was hatched 30 years ago," said Col. Vernie Reichling, commander of the Corps' Memphis District.

One thing they are finding is that the process is using more slurry mix than expected. So Tuesday afternoon, more was ordered. It will take around 24 hours to reach the site, which pushes back the timeline for the third blast.

Following the detonation of the second site, an outflow crevasse, hydrologists examined the system.

"And we see no elevated risk with only one of the outflow currents in place," said Reichling.

On Tuesday, Reichling said he flew over the floodway and again looked at the frontlines and setback levees, which continue to work as designed. He also said that crews reported that around the noon hour, 390,000 cubic feet of water was gushing into the floodway every second.

The blast of the first crevasse on Monday night was "completed as designed" said Maj. General Michael Walsh, commander of the Mississippi River Commission. There is "significant" impact on the gauges, which are reading about three feet less than the forecast was.

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