County leaders concerned with unfinished levee

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Mississippi County leaders are afraid some of the work inside the Birds Point New Madrid floodway could be undone if water tops the unfinished levee.

Commissioner Carlin Bennett says Big Oak State Park is one of the lowest points in the county.

He says he fears what could happen if the Mississippi River tops the unfinished levee at the center crevasse where the Corp of Engineers blew the levee in the spring.

"If you stand in the middle of the center crevasse, and look right out, you're looking right at Big Oak State Park," said Bennett. "If water comes through that center crevasse again, it's going to flood Big Oak State Park, again."

Bennett says he's been in contact with the Army Corps of Engineers and they say they are prepared to flood fight at the center crevasse.

The Corps says the center crevasse is not yet complete. Rain, wet soil, and snow have delayed completion until early December. They say weather permitting, the levee here could be complete as soon as this weekend.

At the upper crevasse, fewer than two additional days are required to fill the landside clay bed at the upper crevasse to complete "Make Safe to 51 feet," according to the Corps. They say once this is complete, work will shift to construction of the 55-foot levee as weather permits.

The levee at the center crevasse protects to an approximate elevation of 34-36' on the New Madrid gage. Additional work this week will raise the level of protection higher before the crest arrives, according to Corps officials.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.