Army Corps Breaks Southeast Missouri Levee
WYATT, Mo. (AP) - 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 would 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 floodwall protecting the town. The blasts were likely to unleash a muddy torrent into empty farm fields.
Brief but bright orange flashes could be seen above the river as the explosions went off. The blast lasted only about two seconds. The darkness kept reporters, who were more than a half mile off the river from seeing how fast the water was moving into the farmland.