Decision maker in levee explosion comes to East Prairie - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Decision maker in levee explosion comes to East Prairie

EAST PRAIRIE, MO (KFVS) -

The man who has the final say on whether or not the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will implement the final step in its Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway Operations Plan and intentionally breach the levee will be in East Prairie Wednesday afternoon.

According to U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson's office, Major General Michael Walsh will answer questions from the public and local leaders at 3 p.m.

Walsh will be at the Eagle Courier building on Clay Morgan Road in East Prairie, along with Representative Emerson, Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, and Mississippi County officials. 

The Corps continues implementing the FOP, which is designed to lower flood stages and pressure on the entire system during major flood events.

Barges carrying the equipment needed to create an in-flow and an out-flow breach in the levee are headed toward Mississippi County.

Major General Walsh, the president of the Mississippi River Commission and Commander of the Mississippi Valley Division of the Corps, will make the final decision on whether or not the levee will be artificially breached. 

That final step does not become an option until the river level at Cairo, IL reaches 61 feet. 

According to Emerson's office, there is also a provision in the plan to "allow the natural overtopping of the upper fuse plug section" prior to making a decision on breaching the levee.

Thursday afternoon, the court battle involving the Floodway plan comes to Cape Girardeau. 

According to his spokeswoman, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster will argue a motion to prohibit the Corps from breaching the levee.

Koster will appear with attorneys from his Agriculture and Environmental Division.

The hearing is set for 1:30pm in front of Judge Stephen Limbaugh at the Federal Courthouse in Cape.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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