Heavy rain temporally suspends earth-work at Birds Point - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heavy rain temporally suspends earth-work at Birds Point

Center crevasse on Oct. 25 (Photo by Brad Hahn, courtesy of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company) Center crevasse on Oct. 25 (Photo by Brad Hahn, courtesy of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company)
Earthwork  at the upper crevasse on Monday (Source: Army Corps of Engineers). Earthwork at the upper crevasse on Monday (Source: Army Corps of Engineers).
NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

The Corps says the District is now authorized and funded to continue improvements at the upper crevasse to 55 feet on the Cairo gage as part of Operation Make Safe.

Earthwork was suspended Monday evening because of rain and lightning. Corps officials say earthwork will resume when the ground has dried enough to support the heavy equipment.

At the upper crevasse, a Corps of Engineers crew of 26 personnel and 30 pieces of heavy equipment was on-site. They were also at two nearby borrow sites and at a maintenance facility. Survey results indicate that the entire 9,000 feet of levee is at or above a Cairo gage elevation of 51 feet.

Before Monday night's rain, crews say they had made "excellent progress" filling the land side of the levee back to level grade. Limited work to 55 feet had begun, with nearly 4,000 feet of foundation in place. Work will resume as the weather and ground conditions allow.

At the center crevasse, a Corps of Engineers crew of 27 personnel and 20 pieces of heavy equipment was at the site and at a nearby clay borrow site. Four additional 25-ton off-road dump trucks were delivered last week, bringing the total number of trucks to eight. The 10-man night shift moved here Nov. 11. Work will resume at the center crevasse as the weather and ground conditions dry.

At the lower crevasse, officials say interim repairs are complete and Corps crews have demobilized from the site. The two percent of work remaining is seeding the levee with grass to prevent erosion.

As far as blasting agent removal, a contractor is making final preparations for shipping the desensitized blasting agent to a disposal site in central Illinois, according to the Corps.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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