Army Corps of Engineers: Rising river waters lead to flood fight stance

Army Corps of Engineers: Rising river waters lead to flood fight stance

VICKSBURG, MS (KFVS) - The Mississippi Valley Division (MVD), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a release, they have entered a flood fight stance. Officials said they have opened communications to other Army Corps of Engineer offices, as well as state, local and federal authorities.

Heavy rain in the Mississippi Valley is necessitating the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to open the Bonnet Carré Spillway in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, March 8. Bonnet Carré, located 28 miles above New Orleans.

"Louisiana has a robust, well-trained and experienced local, state and federal team of emergency responders who are working together with the Corps to safely pass this high water," said Maj. Gen. Richard G. Kaiser, commander of the Corps' Mississippi Valley Division and president of the Mississippi River Commission, in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The spillway at Bonnet Carré vital element of the multi-state Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) system, which uses a variety of features to provide flood protection to the alluvial Mississippi Valley from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to Head of Passes, according to the ACOE.

The Army Corps of Engineers is in phase two of its flood fight stance.

"We will have patrols up and down the levee investigating, observing making sure there are no areas of concern taking note if they are and watching those areas," said Daiman McNew, area engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps has a crest set at 55-feet in Cairo, Ill. and McNew does not believe they will have to use the floodways.

He said they will go back to Phase I once the river gets down to 52-feet.

They plan to address and minimize flooding due to heavy rains on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and their principal tributaries according to the release.

MVD is in daily contact with divisions in the Great Lakes & Ohio River Division (LRD), the Southwestern Division (SWD), and the Northwestern Division (NWD), as well as USACE headquarters.

To ease the flood crest in the Cairo, Ill., area  LRD manages the Ohio River System, including the capability of Barkley Lake on the Cumberland River and the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kentucky Lake on the Tennessee River.

SWD monitors the river stages on several rivers that flow into the Mississippi River while NWD monitors the Missouri River that joins the Mississippi just above St. Louis.

Crews are working with state and local emergency responders to inspect, advise and assist communities with professional engineering expertise and flood-fight materials.

Residents in Mississippi County, Mo. are growing concerned as the Missouri Army Crops of Engineers enters phase two of their flood fight. In 2011, the flood fight reached phase three which lead to the Army Corps of Engineers destroying a portion of the levee to relieve pressure on other areas.

Currently, there are no plans to take action on these levees.

"Some level of concern is probably natural and probably good but anything that goes on or if it gets worse or if we see something coming that we think is going to be a problem we'll make everyone aware of that but as it stands right now we don't see that, there's nothing in the forecast to show that," said Mississippi County Commissioner.

The destruction of the Birds Point levee led to a massive amount of flood water through Mississippi County and some residents have only recently been getting back to normal.

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