Amendment includes $1 billion to repair levees

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasted a levee at Birds Point on May 2.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasted a levee at Birds Point on May 2.
About 130,000 acres of farmland and houses flooded after the levee was blasted on May 2. (Source: Deena Glenn)
About 130,000 acres of farmland and houses flooded after the levee was blasted on May 2. (Source: Deena Glenn)
A man walks through a washed out field at Birds Point. (Source: cNews Clay Shelby)
A man walks through a washed out field at Birds Point. (Source: cNews Clay Shelby)
Water washed out 130,000 acres of land after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasts a levee at Birds Point in May. (Source: cNews Clay Shelby)
Water washed out 130,000 acres of land after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasts a levee at Birds Point in May. (Source: cNews Clay Shelby)

(KFVS/AP) - An amendment to the House Energy and Water Appropriations Act of 2012 included an extra $1 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repairs levees across the country, including the Birds Point levee.

In the amendment, $589.5 million is set aside for the Mississippi River and tributaries system which includes the Birds Point levees and Mississippi River levees, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R).

The amendment was added to legislation which should be considered by the full U.S. House of Representatives this month.

If approved by the House and Senate and signed by the president, the funding would be available on October 2, 2011, the first day of the fiscal year.

Emerson says the replacement of the levee at Birds Point, along with levees at Cairo, Illinois, Yazoo, Mississippi and other site must be a priority for the Corps of Engineers.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen said billions of dollars more will be needed once full Army Corps of Engineers estimates are in for repairing breached levees and other flood control projects damaged by this year's devastating storms and floods.

The New Jersey Republican offset the cost of the amendment by cutting $1 billion in unspent money from President Barack Obama's 2009 economic stimulus measure. The money had been intended for high speed rail projects.

[Read more about the levee blast at the Birds Point - New Madrid Floodway.]

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.