Work ongoing in rebuilding Birds Point levee - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Work ongoing in rebuilding Birds Point levee

NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

The US Army Corps of Engineers said it will make repairs to the upper and middle crevasses to a protection level of 55 feet, as funding is provided.

"Our engineers have determined that we can go to this higher level of protection and not increase the risk to the flood risk management system in the area of the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers," Maj. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division and President of the Mississippi River Commission said. "This will reduce the risk of overtopping the levee to six percent in any given year."

The engineers feel confident they can go to a higher level of protection of 62.5' at the Cairo gage without increasing the flood risk at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

They say this plan will reduce the risk of overtopping the levee to six percent in any given year.

According to the Corps, rain on Tuesday and Wednesday suspended earthwork at all locations. It will resume when the ground has dried enough to support the heavy construction vehicles. The rain didn't affect drege production.

Engineers say plans call for the levee to be rebuilt using clay construction, but will also include a contingency plan to install HESCO bastions in an emergency flood fight effort to reach the 55' level of protection. This is in the event field conditions prevent workers from constructing a clay embankment in time for high water threatening the 55 foot elevation.

According to the Corps, required completion of the levee project is scheduled for Nov. 30.

The Corps will hold a news conference Friday afternoon with further details.

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