Corps executes second of three breaches in Birds Point-New Madrid floodway

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 ~ Updated 1:41 PM
This photo taken from a facility near New Madrid, Mo., shows the blast creating the second of three breaches in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway. (Submitted photo by Dan Buerck)

The Corps of Engineers detonated the second of three levee points at 12:36 p.m. today as part of the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway plan.

The explosion took out approximately 5,500 feet of the levee near New Madrid to allow for flood water to flow back into the Mississippi River. Another such explosion is planned, but the corps has not released its plans on the timing.

Water from the Mississippi River, right, sweeps over the farmland in the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway, left, in Southeast Missouri on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. On May 2, Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh gave the order to intentionally breach the Birds Point levee, flooding over 130,000 acres of farmland to ease flooding upstream. (Kristin Eberts)

The first breach took place Monday night along the front-line levee as a way to relieve pressure on levees upstream, particularly in Cairo, Ill. The breach that took place today was scheduled to have taken place in the overnight hours early Tuesday morning, but weather conditions postponed the action.

Corps officials have said more breaches may be necessary farther down the river.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will speak at a news conference at 1:45 p.m. in Sikeston. Corps Major General Michael Walsh will address the media at 6 p.m. tonight to give an update on the flooding situation.

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