Corps plans to rebuild Birds Point to 55 feet

NEW MADRID, Mo. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers now plans to rebuild the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri to 55 feet, four feet higher than originally scheduled.

The decision announced Thursday comes amid concerns raised by residents in the area of the levee, which was intentionally breached in May to relieve flooding pressure on the Mississippi River.

The corps says it still hopes to eventually rebuild the levee to 62.5 feet — its height before the explosion. However, there is currently no federal money available to get to that height.

The levee is part of a floodway designed to be breached in cases of extreme flooding. Other floodways also were opened in Louisiana during the flood, which was among the worst ever along the lower Mississippi River.

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