Friday, April 29, 2011

Judge Limbaugh rules in favor of Army Corps of Engineers

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KRCU) - A federal judge gave the Army Corps of Engineers the go ahead to destroy a levee in rural Missouri. The man-made breach would ease flooding on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers

Judge Steven Limbaugh ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers has legal authority to breach the Birds Point levee, just south of the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a temporary restraining order against the Corps this week to block the detonation. Koster said in a press release that he would like to see the Eighth District Court review the decision.

Corps spokesman Jim Pogue says there is still no decision on whether or not to go ahead with the plan.

"If the leadership decides that we need to move forward, then that decision would be made at that time," Pogue said.

The levee was designed as an "emergency button" that can be used in times of extremely high river levels. The breach will flood 130,000 acres of farmland.An estimated 200 people live in the affected area.

Flood levels are reaching 60 feet at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers at Cairo, Illinois where some of the most severe flooding is taking place.

Judson Childs is Cairo’s mayor.

“There have been lives at stake, and I can say I think the citizens of Cairo will be very proud that he made that decision. It was just the right thing to do,” Childs said.

Childs has twice issued voluntary evacuations this week.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office has hinted that it may seek an appeal.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU


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