This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - Former residents of Pinhook, Mo., will gather from near and far Saturday at the American Legion hall in Sikeston to share memories of the community they lost in May 2011 when the Army Corps of Engineers opened the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway to alleviate flooding on the Mississippi River.

Twan Robinson's house during the flooding
Provided by Debra Tarver

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - For the residents of Pinhook, Mo., the aerial pictures of their flooded village are as unreal today as they were in May 2011 after the Mississippi River gushed through the breached levee into the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway:

The remains of the gazebo that memorializes Jim Robinson Jr.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Beacon 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The countryside seems to get emptier every time Debra Tarver visits Pinhook, the tiny village in Missouri’s Mississippi County that was her family’s home until the Army Corps of Engineers blew a big hole in the levee on May 2, 2011, allowing the rampaging Mississippi River to storm the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway.

(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers video screen capture)

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.