Thursday, March 17, 2011

Metropolis casino closes as Ohio River rises

A swollen Ohio River forced Harrah’s Casino in Metropolis, Illinois to close yesterday. The casino will remain closed until river levels fall.

The Army Corps of Engineers has opened up field offices in Cape Girardeau and Caruthersville. While the Mississippi River has crested north of Cairo, Illinois, levels are expected to rise south of the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi.

Cairo has been at least 12 feet above flood stage for over a week. Army of Corps of Engineer spokesperson Jim Pogue mentions that the corps is carefully watching the situation at Cairo, and that this type of situation is somewhat common.

"Typically a week or two of water up on a levee is not going to be a source of concern. If you are talking months and months, then that’s a different story. But we don’t expect anything like that to happen," Pogue says.

South of the confluence, about 2/3 of the water in the Mississippi River actually originates in the Ohio. The remaining 1/3 of the water comes from the upper Mississippi.

The Corps is looking at communities such as New Madrid very closely for potential flood damage.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU


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