Judge rules levee can be blown near New Madrid, Missouri
MIDWEST—Word has reached us that federal judge Stephen Limbaugh (yes, Rush Limbaugh’s cousin) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri has issued his ruling that a segment of the levee holding back the Mississippi River on the Missouri side (near the little town of New Madrid, where our big Midwestern earthquake fault line is named after) can be dynamited by the Corps of Engineers to alleviate upriver flooding.
See the pdf at the uber-left but interesting Southeastern Missourian:
This would impact the inundated counties and communities in southern Illinois affected by not only by the Mississippi (Alexander, where Cairo is located) and those on the west side (Jackson), but also those impacted by the Ohio River and the tributaries leading to it (Gallatin, Wayne, White, Saline, Hardin, Pope, Massac) and perhaps further upstream to the Wabash (Wabash, Lawrence, Crawford, Clark).
This blasting would flood approximately 130,000 acres of farmland in Missouri, and potentially 90 homes. There’s concern that agrichemicals will be swept along the floodwaters over the freshly-planted or -anhydroused fields and be toxic to the residents there (but someone probably should have thought about THAT scenario long before, as Spring is the time for planting, fertilizing AND flooding); these are the hazards Midwesterners face, and the (subsidized) farmers in the area have been told to get their anny nurse tanks and any petrol agents out of the flood plain.
However, Missouri’s attorney general Chris Koster is seeking to block the federal judge’s ruling by filing an appeal in the state’s 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, and the state has filed a lawsuit to block the detonation, which, if done, will be conducted with liquid chemicals pumped into the levee that will explode when mixed.
The levee is technically located at Birds Point, a bit downriver from Cairo (where the focus lies right now, as the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio is at that southernmost point of Illinois) but close enough to keep the town’s levees from bursting with the strain that a 60.2 foot flood crest scheduled for early next week might place on it.
Much controversy has erupted over Cairo, since a Missouri state representative, Steve Tilley, stuck his foot firmly in his mouth the other day:
Naturally, mainstream media is making some kind of racial hype about Cairo, a town that was decimated by people ‘voting with their wallets’ in the 60s when desegregation was forced upon them.
The fact is that Cairo is already economically devastated, and is supported largely on federal housing and grant money. It is, however, of historical interest, and the 3,000 residents there, while most live in poverty, love the place and don’t want anything dire to happen to it. The last great flood that threatened Cairo happened in 1937, when the town was bustling and five times the current population. At that time, levees downstream were blown willingly, with farmers sacrificing for the greater good. Apparently, no one wants to do that anymore.
And of course, everyone down there is forgetting the thousands upon thousands of people UPSTREAM who have lost their homes or whose homes/businesses are threatened by this flood…as we said the other day, we are “the Other Illinois” and mainstream media pays no attention to places like Shawneetown, Carrier Mills, Karnak, Sims, Maunie, Russellville. We are suffering too, and would benefit from the blowing of the levee in Missouri.
So get your photos in, capture this on digital, and get it on this website. Let’s let them know we’re out here too…and if they blow the levee, there are a lot more people thanking them for the sacrifice than just the 3,000 in Cairo.
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