May 5, 2011 by staff
Memphis Flooding, Three recent explosions in the dams have helped ease the dangerous inflammation of the Mississippi River, but the leak continues to grow at record levels and threatening to invade some cities, the Army Corps of Engineers says.
Emergency officials in Missouri to Mississippi scrambled Wednesday to prepare for possible floods in the river continued to rise. The fears have led to a declaration of emergency of 920,000 residents in Memphis and surrounding Shelby County, Tennessee, where authorities blocked some suburban streets and more than 200 people evacuated to shelters.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, a Republican, asked the White House to declare 11 counties along the river areas of flood forecasting disaster, as Vicksburg, Natchez and other communities along the river were preparing for floods.
President Obama said Wednesday parts of Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky, disasters, making them eligible for federal help with relief efforts.
Heavy snowmelt Minnesota and North Dakota along with three large rainfall events this year have resulted in increased levels of the river, said Bob Anderson, an Army spokesman based in Vicksburg, Mississippi While levee breaches helped to reduce water levels in some areas, relentless pressure of the water continue to threaten communities in the river valleys of Ohio and the Mississippi River.
“There has never been a flood of this magnitude in the upper Mississippi,” says Anderson. “It tests the outer limits of our system.”
Use of chemical explosives, Army engineers on Monday opened a gash over 2 miles long at Bird’s Point levee in southeastern Missouri, south of where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers meet.
Failure relieved some pressure from the river by flooding 130,000 hectares and 100 nearby homes in Missouri, affecting about 300 people, says Anderson.
Farmers whose properties are located on the landfill created by the explosions of levees have filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers, saying the agency’s decision to divert water to the area of?? Their property violated their property rights constitutional. The lawsuit seeks an amount, which still unspecified damages.
Farmer Martin Hutcheson, whose family has farmed in the area since early 1900, flying over the area on Wednesday and said it was “devastating” for his property under water. About 5,000 of its 9,850 hectares of arable land are affected by the landfill, he said.
The decision to blow the levees did as river levels threatened to overrun cities such as Cairo, Illinois, and broke through levees downstream, says Anderson.
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