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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Corps Blasts Levee South of Cairo; Ohio River Begins Receding Immediately

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2011 at 8:36 AM

click to enlarge Explosives detonate the Birds Point levee last night. - ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS VIA KFVS
  • Army Corp of Engineers via KFVS
  • Explosives detonate the Birds Point levee last night.
The final decision to breach the Birds Point levee along the Mississippi River came at 5 p.m. yesterday. Five hours later, explosives lit up the night sky and shook the earth as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detonated a blast in the levee that will flood some 130,000 acres of southeastern Missouri farmland in order to save the historic (and dying) town of Cairo, Illinois.

Moments after the explosion, the effort appeared to be working, with water levels on the nearby Ohio River that borders Cairo dropping immediately. Per KFVS in Cape Girardeau:
At 10 p.m. (three minutes before the first explosion), the Ohio River at Cairo was at 61.72 feet. At 11 p.m., the river was at 61.29 feet. That's a drop of 5.16 inches.

At midnight, it was down to 61.13 feet. At 1 a.m., the Ohio River at Cairo was 60.98 feet. That's a drop of 8.9 inches since Birds Point levee breech three hours ago.

At 2 a.m. the river was at 60.92 feet. At 3 a.m. the river was 60.81 feet. At 4 a.m. the river was at 60.73 feet. At 5 a.m. the river was at 60.67 feet. At 6 a.m. the river was 60.62 feet.
The Corps plans to blast another hole in the levee today near New Madrid, Missouri (some 40 miles south of Cairo) to eventually let the flood water return to the Mississippi River. 

Below is a brief video of the blast.

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