McCaskill: “Very Firmly Against” Corps Plan to Blow Up Levee

Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) –  You can add Senator Claire McCaskill to the list of those opposed to the destruction of a Mississippi River levee.

The Army Corps of Engineers is mulling over a plan blow a hole in the Birds Point levee near Cairo, which sits near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

Corps officials have tabled a decision until this weekend.

During a stop in St. Louis to tour storm damage, McCaskill said she hopes they use the extra time to reconsider their plan.

“We realize the economic devastation that is going to occur to the region because of the amount of farmland that would go out of production, which is incredibly important to the economy of southeast Missouri,” McCaskill said.

But she acknowledged that ultimately, the Corps is responsible for making a “very difficult choice”.

“And that is what is the damage that could result without blowing the levee to these populated communities, as opposed to the damage that could occur to the farmland,” McCaskill explained.

Cairo has a 64-foot downtown floodwall and earthen levees elsewhere. It’s staring at a river level of more than 58 feet, with expectations it will reach a record 61.5 feet by this weekend.


The Associated Press contributed information for this report.

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