Birds Point Levee
11:35 am
Wed May 25, 2011

Corps considering plan to replace levee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering a plan to replace the earthen levee at the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway with mechanical gates.

The corps intentionally breached the levee May 2 to reduce the threat of major flooding from the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in nearby Cairo, Ill. The breach flooded 130,000 acres of prime Missouri farmland and damaged or destroyed as many as 100 homes.

Corps spokesman Jim Pogue told The Southeast Missourian that the corps will "look at all the alternatives" after it temporarily repairs the levee by March 1.

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, a Cape Girardeau Republican, and members of the Mississippi County Commission said they oppose adding mechanical gates to the levee because it could lead to more frequent activations and intentional area flooding.