Army Corps Prepares to Blow Up Mo. Levee

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The Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to blow up a levee on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River, a move that will flood the town of Cairo, Il. and the surrounding farmland.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued the ruling rejecting the state's appeal to stop the levee's destruction to the area downstream of the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

With the Mississippi River well past record levels, the Army Corps resumed its plans to destroy a two-mile-wide swath of the levy near Birds Point, Mo.

Army Corps Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh, head of the Mississippi River Commission, said the Corps will detonate the explosives when the Ohio River reaches 61 feet. On Sunday, forecasters predicted the river would crest at 61.5 feet this week.

Walsh ordered crews to move barges transporting explosives to Missouri and load the pipes with blasting agents.

It will take engineers 20 hours to complete the preparation and three hours to prime the explosives.

The Missouri National Guard and local law enforcement went door to door Sunday morning to urge remaining residents to evacuate the area.

Cairo Mayor Judson Childs issued the evacuation order, effective after midnight on Saturday, to the town's 3,000 residents. By Sunday morning, about 75 percent of residents had left their homes, according to the Cairo Police Commissioner Tyrone Coleman.

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