Illinois Town & Evacuation

May 1, 2011 by USA Post 

Illinois Town & Evacuation, The southern Illinois town of Cairo was largely empty on Sunday after authorities ordered residents to evacuate the Ohio River, swollen by rains overnight, continued to increase to record levels dangerously high.

At 10 am local time, the Ohio River had reached 59.8 feet at Cairo, about 20 feet above flood level and its highest level since 1937, according to the National Weather Service.

NWS meteorologists expect from Ohio, the largest tributary of the Mississippi River, which flows from Pittsburgh to Cairo, at the peak of 60.5 meters on Tuesday in Cairo, a whole foot on the record of 1937 in the form of rain moved in the night is falling.

Cairo, a historic town of 2,800 people in the southern tip of Illinois, is located at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi. Both rivers have increased as a result of days of rain and melting and runoff of winter snowstorms.

The mayor, Judson Childs, ordered a mandatory evacuation from midnight Saturday, after meeting with the Corps of Engineers U.S. Army, the main agency in the fight against flooding.

“There are not yet counted in the number of people evacuated, but it’s just a ghost town,” he told Reuters Children.

But he said some residents chose to stay.

“There are some people who remain, like me, who will go down with the ship, so to speak,” he said.

The Corps sent ships to the docks birds point near Cairo, bringing a mixture of mud that could be used to detonate the dam in an effort to save flood Cairo.

At the outbreak of the dam, the authorities hope to increase the capacity of the Mississippi River to accommodate the rising waters of the Ohio, the relief of Cairo and other cities upstream, at the expense of farmland in Missouri.

“At this point, no news or decision about what the Corps is going to do about the dam,” said Childs. “Everything can change minute by minute and hour by hour.”

A federal appeals court said on Saturday that the Corps was entitled to break the dam, as permitted by law 1928.

The Corps said it blow up the dam if the river in Cairo reached 61 feet and was rising. But it could blow up the dam, even if the river does not reach 61 feet if there is too much strain on the system.

The plot to blow up the dam has been the subject of a legal battle in recent days. The state of Missouri, sued to stop the Corps plan, arguing that flooded 130,000 acres (52,000 hectares) of farmland and extensive damage.

Illinois and Kentucky took the other side, saying that cities in their states could be flooded if the levees were not flown.

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