Some domestic ‘spolodie:
Last night, the Corps of Engineers set off a chain of charges on a levee retaining the Mississippi River at Bird’s Point, Missouri. This activated long standing flood control measures which allow waters to flow down a “flood way” towards the town of New Madrid, Missouri. Sort of a “give the river more room and it won’t flood as bad” technique.
Word is houses some twenty to twenty-five miles away, including Hickman, Kentucky, were rattled by the blast.
Thursday, twin barges were creeping up the Mississippi River, carrying a payload of explosives bound for southeast Missouri and a levee facing the prospect of being sacrificed to spare a flood-threatened Illinois town just upriver.
The Army Corps of Engineers’ tugboat-shoved shipments were to arrive Thursday, the same day Missouri stood poised to press a federal judge to block the corps from possibly blasting a gaping hole in the earthen berm to ease waters rising around Cairo, Ill., nestled where the swollen Mississippi and Ohio rivers meet.
From the Chicago Fox News affiliate web site.
The Army has a long relationship with the Mississippi River. At times winning. And at times losing. We don’t hear much about the former. But when the latter occur, the Corps of Engineers are on the front page (i.e. Katrina, Floods of ’93,….)
I don’t envy the Corps’ mission along those rivers. There are few other places within the scope of Army operations (and for that matter across the board in DoD) where the service’s actions directly impact the civilian population. And in some cases, as at Cairo, Illinois, putting the service directly between two communities with differing opinions about flood control.
Caption: LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mark Robertson, engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bud Schardein, Director, Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District, and Louisville District Commander Col. Keith Landry discuss pumping capacity of Louisville pump stations here, April 26, 2011. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo taken by Mike Lush)