Federal judge OKs levee breach

April 29, 2011

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(Getty/Whitney Curtis)
Danny Brown walks through his flooded backyard Wednesday in Cairo, Illinois.

 

A federal judge decided today to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to plan a breach of a Mississippi River levee in southeastern Missouri.
 
The Army Corps of Engineers could blow up the levee as early as this weekend to relieve the city of Cairo in southern Illinois from rising flood waters. But Missouri officials wanted a federal judge to block the Corps from breaking down the wall to prevent thousands of acres of farmland from being ruined.
 
Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is touring Cairo today. She says the flooding is apparent and fields in the southern Illinois city are underwater.
 
She applauds the federal judge for having to make a hard decision.
 
"To choose to have cropland flooded instead of destroying a town, a town with great historic record, I think is a wise decision," she said.
 
In a statement, the Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says given the devastation that some Missouri families may soon endure, the state is filing an appeal.