Corps offers timeline to reopen Birds Point Levee

WYATT, Mo. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers is telling Missouri’s congressional delegation that while restoration of the land behind the Birds Point Levee is a high priority, accurate damage assessment won’t begin until July at the earliest.

The Southeast Missourian reported Wednesday that the letter warns that additional rain could compound the problem and slow the assessment.

The Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the levee near the town of Wyatt on May 2 to relieve pressure from the flooding Mississippi and Ohio rivers at nearby Cairo, Ill. The breach flooded 130,000 acres of prime Missouri farmland and damaged or destroyed as many as 100 homes.

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of Cape Girardeau criticized the letter’s lack of specifics, saying it offered no solutions aimed at draining the floodway faster.

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Information from: Southeast Missourian, http://www.semissourian.com

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