Birds Point Levee – You make the call


Lost in the news about Osama Bin Laden this last week are the events occurring a little closer to home.  Please keep our neighbors in Southeast Missouri in your prayers as they deal with the effects of record flooding. 

The US Army Corps of Engineers made the decision to blast a hole in the Birds Point Levee to relieve some of the flooding in hopes to spare the town of Cairo, IL.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened holes in sturdy levees near Cairo, IL and New Madrid, Missouri to allow Mississippi River flood waters to tear into the farm land.  The Corps actually blew a hole in the main Birds Point levee this past Monday night.  

The goal was to open a relief valve and allow flood waters to spread over agricultural land that had been designated as a floodway.  It was anticipated hundreds of farmers would face the devastation. 130,000 acres was flooded by Tuesday afternoon.  Just before noon, the Corps of Engineers blew a break in the levee not far from New Madrid to allow the flood waters to exit the floodway and return to the Mississippi River.  But farmers worried sand,silt and chemicals in the water would complicate their recovery.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called the flood historic and predicted it would cost upwards of 260 million dollars in lost production and repair costs.  Nixon promised the state would do everything it could to restore damaged roads, farm land and property lost to the manmade disaster.

130,00 of productive farm ground in the State of Missouri produces significant revenue and supports thousands of jobs.  The city of Cairo, IL has a population of approximately 2,800. 

Whether the farm ground flooded or the city of Cairo flooded someone’s life and livelihood would have been affected and the result is tragic.  I want to know what you think.  Complete the poll and let me know if you think the Corps should have allowed the flood to run its course and cover the city of Cairo or do you believe the Corps did the right thing by sparing the city of Cairo and flooding 130,00o acres of productive Missouri farm ground and more than 100 farm homes.

I grew up on the Missouri River and I remember all to well the effects of the flooding in 1993.  My affinity lies with the affected farmers and I believe the Corps did the wrong thing, but hey, that’s my opinion – what’s yours?

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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4 Responses to Birds Point Levee – You make the call

  1. Ken says:

    I believe if you choose to live in a place prone to flooding, huricanes, earthquakes, etc., then you should be willing to deal with the consequences of that decision. Once a levee is built, however, it seems like you should leave it built.

    • Rhonda says:

      I really found it hard to believe that this decision was made. I have driven through CAIRO, IL several times in the last couple of months on my way to Kentucky. The words that come to mind on this city is “GHOST TOWN”, It is a VERY desperate town, buildings boarded up, falling down…..and very obviously a town that has faded in time. I was actually surprised to hear 2,800 people live there. And the decision to save this town versus all of the farmland is hard for me to believe!!!!! IN my opinion….BAD DECISION.

  2. Jim Begin says:

    Are you going to post the results of your poll on the levee?

    • To see the results of the poll just click on one of the voting tabs for the poll (don’t worry you won’t affect the outcome if you’ve already voted from your computer because it will only let you vote once and if you haven’t voted – you should).

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