flood

Army Corps of Engineers to blow up Birds Point levee near New Madrid as 500-year flood slams Midwest

Monday, May 02, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: New Madrid fault, flood, health news

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(NaturalNews) In what is shaping up to be the worst flood situation in nearly a century, the swelling Mississippi and Ohio rivers have now breached their "flood stages" as persistent and torrential rains continue to pummel the Midwest states of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Many areas of these states have already been flooded, and many more are threatened by emerging sand boils and falling levees that have reached or exceeded capacity.

And unbeknownst to many Americans, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) recently filled 11,000 feet of pipe at the Birds Point levee near Cairo, Ill., with 265 tons of explosives, which it plans to detonate later this evening (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/...) in an alleged attempt to divert flood waters from the blighted town into 130,000 acres of rural Missouri farmland located right over the New Madrid Seismic Zone (http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/dpp/weather/all-...).

Recent severe weather events throughout the Southeast and Midwest have already ravaged many areas throughout this region, and more threats are on the way as severe storms continue to develop, particularly across areas near the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

This little-known fault actually has the "highest earthquake risk in the United States outside the West Coast," and its destruction zone is 20 times that of major West Coast fault lines due to its unique underlying geology -- so anything significant that disrupts this area could have devastating consequences (http://www.scchealth.org/docs/ems/docs/prepa...).

For those who are unaware, the New Madrid Seismic Zone is highly active, measuring more than 200 seismic events per year, and about 20 per month. Earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or higher occur approximately once every decade in this zone, and the region is said to be due for another big one at any time.

And when factoring in the ongoing severe flooding caused by excessive rains, last year's BP oil disaster that agitated this seismic region, and the potential detonation of the Birds Point levee within the next few days, the likelihood of a mega-quake is potentially even further intensified.

"Right now the Mississippi River is in the process of going through what we call an epic flood, meaning it's more than historic; it's more than a 100-year flood, it's more like a 500-year flood," said Gene Rench from the National Weather Service, to My Fox Memphis last Thursday. "We could flood many homes, businesses, close down factories, people could drown."

Since the time of Rench's statement, the situation has only gotten progressively worse. And yet this emerging disaster has received little attention from the mainstream media, which has instead chosen to focus on other events that, to the discerning individual, appear more of a distraction than actual news.

People living all around the flood zone are being evacuated, and ACE is planning to blow up a 64-foot levee, but most Americans are too busy focusing on meaningless royalty weddings and flimsy tales of the supposed capture of dead terrorists.

Meanwhile, the ACE plan to help mitigate the flood situation involves literally blowing up the Birds Point levee in Missouri's Mississippi County to protect the blighted town of Cairo, whose population is less than 3,000, while at the same time destroy the land and economy of southeastern Missouri. If destroyed, the levee will send a massive deluge of water right into the plains over the New Madrid fault area.

After deliberation, ACE has just announced that it will, indeed go through with the detonation (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/...). But up until Sunday, the group had been prohibited from blowing up the levee, as many in opposition had fought against the proposal. But a Supreme Court ruling paved the way for ACE to blow up the levee, declaring that it has the right to detonate the levee if it determines that course of action to be most appropriate (http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Rain-...).

According to reports, the explosives have already been loaded into the pipes near the levee, and are ready to go (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/bre...). And Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh, the man in charge of making the decision, has now ordered that they be detonated.

Earlier this morning, Jim Pogue, the Public Affairs Office Chief for ACS, explained to a reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the details of the detonation and how it will go down. You can view that video interview here:
http://www.stltoday.com/youtube_9412d1c0-74d...

Sources for this story include:

http://www.mvm.usace.army.mil/publicaffairs/...

http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/nationalfloodou...

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