Corps of engineers thinks Birds Point berm will hold against flooding

Friday, July 1, 2011 | 10:45 a.m. CDT; updated 1:32 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 5, 2011

NEW MADRID — Floodwaters are encroaching once again at the Birds Point Floodway of southeast Missouri, and the Army Corps of Engineers is watching closely to decide if additional protective action is needed.

The corps intentionally breached the Birds Point levee in May to keep floodwaters from damaging nearby Cairo, Ill. The Southeast Missourian reports that corps officials said Thursday that a contingency plan is in place, but they think a temporary berm built at Birds Point should hold.

The berm was built in the levee's middle crevasse to stop water from coming through.

The Mississippi has been rising again and was expected to crest Friday in the Birds Point area, then descend. Corps spokesman Jim Pogue says gauges are being monitored and corps officials expect no problems.

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