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Army Engineers Still Blasting Levee to Stave Off Historic Flooding

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May 6, 2011
It's not often that the government blows up private and public property, but that's exactly what's happening along the Mississippi River in a couple of states, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has blasted through a two-mile section of a levee to try to ease flooding in Ilinois and Kentucky.

Government engineers have blasted three separate holes in the Birds Point levee, in hopes of diverting the river from continuing to flood more than 100,000 acres of Missouri farmland so that homes and businesses in neighboring states aren't further inundated. Residents of many states along the Mississippi River say that this year's flooding is the worst they have seen.

President Obama declared disaster areas for parts of Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, as Mississippi residents braced for what be a situation similar to the one being attended to by Corps of Engineers-generated explosions. Arkansas closed one well traveled part of its major interstate highway, Memphis residents reported flooding on major city streets, and people in Louisiana were on high alert.

The flooding follows on the heels of a series of deadly tornadoes and thunderstorms that killed a few hundred people across several Southern states and is the latest in a string of extreme weather events. The 2010 winter was extremely harsh in many parts of the country, and the resulting snow melt has also caused the Mississippi River to flood in North Dakota and South Dakota and in parts of Canada.

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