Credit (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers video screen grab)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.