Army Corps: We Had to Blow the Levee

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(Army Corps of Engineers photo)

(Army Corps of Engineers photo)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Nearly a year after the Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri, corps officials say the decision may have saved billions of dollars in damages.

But the Southeast Missourian  reports that farmers in the floodway are still reassessing the cost to them. The Food and Agriculture Research Policy Institute estimates that crop losses alone amounted to $85 million, and a broader economic impact exceeded $156 million.

The corps had authority to intentionally breach the levee to relieve pressure from the flooding Mississippi River, in part to save nearby Cairo, Ill. The breach on May 2 flooded 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland.

The corps says the decision prevented more than $112 billion in damages along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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