Broken Levees

Flood of 2011 Along the Mississippi

Army Corp of Engineers Blowing the Levee – Why?

What purpose did it serve the Army Corp of Engineers to blow up the levee in New Madrid to flood Pinhook, Dorena and the farmland in Southeast Missouri to save Cairo? If anyone has been paying attention to the news lately, most of the south has been flooded.  The mighty Mississippi is moving at a fast pace and is threatening to flood a town that was hit hard several years back by Hurricane Katrina: Louisiana.

I guess what I really want to know is was there another reason for them blowing up the levee? Many years ago, the Army Corp of Engineers had talked of closing a 1500 foot gap in the levee.  Now maybe I may have my levee’s mixed up. There is another levee in the area near Big Oak State Tree Park that is referred to as the St. John’s Bayou.  Maybe these two levees connect. If I am not mistaken, when they blew up the levee, the third blast was done at this point.

http://missouri.sierraclub.org/home.aspx?/sierranonline/2008/07/floodway.html

The Army Corp of Engineers did an environmental impact study that basically said it would be detrimental to the fish and wildlife and this is why they would not close the gap in the levee.

http://www.mvm.usace.army.mil/stjohns/Studies/FINAL_RSEIS.pdf

So I was wondering, why would they blow up the levee?  If you live in the area, you know there is a second levee between Pinhook and East Prairie, and the water has not crossed this levee.  The water stops at the other end of the Ten Mile Pond near the Levee Store.  Everything on the other side is flooded. The farmland, the homes are all full of water.  From what I am told from sources,  a lot of this land belongs to a group of people called the Pinhook Hunting Club and also the Missouri Conservation Area.

I also have met up with a group of people who informed me about a week before the levee was blown that blowing the levee in Missouri was not the only levee that would be blown.  The Army Corp of Engineers were going to blow levees even further south. As I watch the water travel to Memphis and Louisiana, I think about what was told to me.  How right they were.

This brings me to a post I found in the St. Louis post dispatch in the comments section by U.S. Rep. for Cape Girardeau Jo Ann Emerson and what she had to say about the community of Pinhook.  She asked if fish were more important than people.  Her comments sort of took me by surprise. Reading between the lines made me think she was hinting at something else.  Are they planning to come in and make the land Pinhook is built on into a wildlife reserve for fish and game?  Is something else happening here that people don’t know about?  I am posting her comments here…

Modern river management should favor people, not fish

Monday night, the Birds Point Mississippi River Levee was breached by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ending the argument over whether to flood Pinhook, Mo., and 130,000 acres of farmland.

In its editorial “Mother Nature wins” (May 3), the Post-Dispatch reduced this debate to a prosaic conflict between farmland in Missouri and people in Cairo, Ill. That view is insulting to the Missourians who (until last week) lived in the New Madrid floodway, and it disregards the grim reality along thousands of miles of Mississippi and Ohio riverfront.

This was not an either/or situation. Historic river levels still threaten Cairo. Other communities on the Mississippi River are besieged by floodwaters. The New Madrid floodway is not a failsafe for the aging infrastructure throughout the system.

The conflict deserving of public attention isn’t between the New Madrid floodway and Cairo; it’s between those working to secure 21st-century flood protection along the Mississippi River and those who would rather turn it into 16th-century fish habitat.

Each requires a confrontation with nature. In a modern system favoring human beings and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual commerce for our state economy, we must build levees, locks and dams and maintain them to modern standards, resulting in farms, jobs and public safety.

The alternative favored by fish and environmental extremists requires annual floods of varying severity in which thousands of families, homes and businesses are placed in peril by a wide and wild river. In Pinhook and Cairo is widespread agreement in favor of flood protection.

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson • R-Cape Girardeau

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May 12, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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