Rebuilding of Birds Point levee finished for 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011 | 10:59 a.m. CST

CHARLESTON — Repair work is complete for the winter on the southeast Missouri levee that was intentionally blasted open at the height of spring flooding.

The Army Corps of Engineers spent seven months rebuilding the Birds Point levee. The Southeast Missourian reports that corps officials hosted a meeting in Charleston on Thursday, saying work will resume next year once warm weather returns.

Explosions at three spots on the levee flooded 130,000 acres in May as the corps opened the floodway to relieve pressure on the floodwall at nearby Cairo, Ill.

The Corps' Mississippi Valley Division commander, Maj. Gen. John Peabody, said the agency delivered on its promise of getting the levee back to a temporary height of 55 feet. That's still short of the 62.5-foot height prior to the intentional breach.

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