CAIRO, IL (KFVS) - Breaching the Birds Point levee happened in part to save the city of Cairo.
One year later, many in Alexander County are still struggling to recover from the historic flood of 2011.
That's true for Cairo as well.
While the city didn't see water over the top of its floodwall, water below ground did quite a lot of damage.
You may remember giant sand boils and sink holes popped up all over town.
Mayor Tyrone Coleman says the city is still waiting for about $1 million dollars from FEMA to make those repairs. So to this day, some Cairo streets are marked by sink holes.
A year ago Wednesday was not only the day the Birds Point New Madrid Floodway was operated, it was also Mayor Coleman's very first day in office.
A day he says got much less stressful the second the corps blew that levee.
"We had about a foot drop after the explosion and it continued to drop after that. Needless to say, those of us still in the city felt a lot of comfort from that," said Mayor Tyrone Coleman
The mayor says he's working to develop a city wide disaster plan.
Before the flood, there was only a county plan in place, and the mayor feels Cairo needs to be able to better stand on its own when disaster strikes.