The construction plan for a temporary levee at Birds Point got a gubernatorial boost today.
Beginning on May 2, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the levee at Birds Point on to relieve pressure on a strained Mississippi River system. The breech covered about 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland with water.
Residents of the southeast Missouri land behind the Birds Point levee are dealing with the aftermath of the decision to breach the levee and unleash torrents of Mississippi River water across 130,000 acres of land.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the floodway needed to be activated last month, as it was intended, to help reduce floodwaters in communities in Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky.
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.
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon, during Obama's visit to Dublin May 23. The President and Gov. Nixon discussed the deadly tornado that touched down in Joplin, Mo., Sunday night. Obama will visit Joplin May 29.
Speaking from London, President Barack Obama says he plans to travel to Missouri on Sunday to meet with victims of the "devastating and heartbreaking" tornadoes that hit the state this weekend.
The president says he wants Midwesterners whose lives were disrupted by the deadly storms to be assured that the federal government will use all resources possible to help them recover and rebuild. Obama spoke in London, the second stop on his four-country, six-day tour of Europe. The president is due back in Washington Saturday night.