Birds Point Levee

Morning round-up
9:26 am
Mon May 9, 2011

Morning headlines: Monday, May 9, 2011

A screen capture from Ed Martin's video announcement regarding his run for Congress in Missouri's newly-redrawn 2nd district.
(EdMartinForCongress.com screen shot/St. Louis Public Radio)

Ed Martin Announces Run in 2nd Congressional District

Republican attorney Ed Martin is dropping out of the U.S. Senate race to run for a newly-redrawn 2nd Congressional district representing the St. Louis area.

Martin announced his change in political plans today in an email to his supporters.

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Spring Flooding
12:38 pm
Fri May 6, 2011

Guardsmen, patrol officers rescued from floodway

A screen grab still frame of a video by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of the second intentional levee blast near New Madrid, Mo. on May 3.
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers video screen grab)

Updated 1 p.m. with news of river closure to traffic.

The Missouri National Guard and Missouri State Highway Patrol have performed countless water rescues during the flood of 2011. But late Thursday and early Friday, many of the soldiers and officers found themselves in need of rescue.

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Flooding
2:28 pm
Thu May 5, 2011

Record crests continue along Mississippi River

Flooded streets in Cairo, Ill on May 2. The decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to open the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway has brought relief to the small town, but more record crests are predicted along the Mississippi River.
(Jeff Williams/WSIU)

Updated with Gov. Nixon's request for a disaster declaration.

The decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to blast the levee at Birds Point appears to have brought some relief to Cairo, Ill., but the possibility of record crests continues all along the Mississippi River.

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Morning round-up
9:25 am
Thu May 5, 2011

Morning headlines: Thursday, May 5, 2011

Two years ago today, Sheri Coleman and her two sons were killed in their Columbia, Ill home. Today, jurors deliberate in the trial of her husband Christopher Coleman, who stands accused in their deaths.
SLPRnews

On Second Anniversary of Murders, Coleman Jury Deliberates

The jurors in the Christopher Coleman triple murder trial will begin a second day of deliberations. Coleman, a former Marine, is accused of strangling his wife and two sons in order to advance a love affair and protect his job working for Joyce Meyer Ministries.

Jurors began deliberating Wednesday, Day 8 of the trial. The defense opened their case Wednesday morning and called two witnesses: a handwriting expert and a forensic linguist.

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Spring Flooding/Claire McCaskill
1:55 pm
Wed May 4, 2011

McCaskill: farmers' lawsuit against levee blast will be difficult to win

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says that while she sympathizes with southeast Missouri farmers whose land has been swamped by the Birds Point levee breach, a lawsuit filed on their behalf against the federal government will be difficult to win.

The lawsuit claims the government violated the farmers' rights by taking their land without adequate compensation.

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Spring Flooding
5:43 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Cairo, Ill. spared with levee blast, but concerns for area farmers remain

A screen grab still frame of a video by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of today's second levee blast near New Madrid, Mo. You can see video, from the ground and the air, of the blast below the story text.
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers video screen grab)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing to blow holes into agricultural levees to relieve rising floodwater on the town of Cairo, Ill. (See video footage of today's second blast below).

However, sparing Cairo came at the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars of Missouri crops.

Ed Marshall farms about 8,000 acres in Mississippi County in southeast Missouri.  At this time of year he normally looks out on miles of corn and wheat, but right now, his view is different.

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Morning round-up
9:29 am
Tue May 3, 2011

Morning headlines: May 3, 2011

Water streams up the side of a vehicle traveling in Cairo, Ill.
(Jeff Williams/WSIU)

Corps Explodes Bird Point Levee to Save Cairo, Ill

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has exploded a large section of a Mississippi River levee in a desperate attempt to protect the Illinois town of Cairo from rising floodwaters. The corps says the break will help Cairo by diverting up to 4 feet of water off the river. As of Monday evening, river levels at Cairo were at historic highs, creating pressure on the flood wall protecting the town.

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Spring Flooding
5:35 pm
Mon May 2, 2011

Army Corps decides to blow up Missouri levee

An aerial look at the flooding around Cairo, Ill. on April 28, 2011.
(via Butler Miller)

Updated 10:30 p.m. May 2:

Around 10:15, the Army Corps of Engineers posted to its Facebook page that the first section of the levee had been breached.

Updated 5:58 p.m. May 2 with information that levee will be broken and additional information:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to detonate the Birds Point levee in southern Missouri tonight.

Officials announced the decision this evening.

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Floods
7:18 am
Mon May 2, 2011

Corps Pumps Explosive Mixture to Birds Point Levee

Members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri National Guard survey a levy breach in Butler County, Missouri on April 26, 2011. The levee along the Black River has breached in several places, forcing authorities to evacuate residents.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to halt a plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to blast open a levee to relieve the rain-swollen Mississippi River.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito did not comment Sunday night in denying Missouri's request to block the corps' plan. Alito handles emergency requests from Missouri and other states in the 8th Circuit in the Midwest.

Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh says a decision has not yet been made on whether to breech the levee. 

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Spring Flooding
12:29 pm
Fri April 29, 2011

Lawmakers weigh-in on pending decision on levee from Army Corps of Engineers

Mo. State Highway Patrol's Roger Shikles keeps watch while passing a mailbox in Butler County, Mo. on April 26, 2011. A levee had breached in the area. A decision to intentionally break a levee in another flood-threatened area, Cairo, Ill. is pending.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 12:29 p.m. April 29:

Via the Associated Press:

Missouri officials are appealing a federal judge's ruling that says the Army Corps of Engineers can break a levee and flood Missouri farmland if necessary to spare an Illinois town upstream.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. ruled Friday that the corps' plan to breach the Birds Point levee is appropriate to ensure flood-control along the Mississippi. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster appealed to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis a short time later.

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