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Agriculture
4:19 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Army Corps to restore Birds Point-New Madrid floodway to original height

The Army Corps of Engineers announced Tuesday that it will restore the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway to its original height by the end of this year.

The Mississippi River Commission made the decision last week, according to Army Corps spokesperson Jim Pogue: “Our level of confidence in our ability to finish this work this year is real high. We’ve had good weather, good river stages and assuming that the contractor continues to make good progress and our other work in the confluence area goes well, we’ll be right on track.”

The Corps will rebuild the levee to the original height of 62 and a half feet. Officials credit good river stages and optimal construction weather.

Mississippi County Presiding Commissioner Carlin Bennett says the announcement means everything to floodway farmer: “I mean, right now we went through two growing seasons now without any protection ... or certainly with at best minimal protection. This puts our levees back to the original stage that they were before the Corps detonated the levee. This gives us full protection.”

Senator Roy Blunt applauded the Corps’ decision in a press release.

In a written statement, Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson says she appreciates the support but adds she will hold the Corps accountable to their aggressive timeline and will closely monitor the progress.