Old Man River Rises.

They blasted a big Whole in the Mississippi Levee to relieve pressure. The idea is to sacrifice a piece of Missouri to save a chunk of Illinois .  Obama isn’t going to win over new Missouri votes with this decision. He doesn’t think much of the bitter church going gun clingers  anyway, while the townies in in his home state just might vote for him in 2012.

The Army Corps of Engineers blasted a large hole in an earthen levee along the Mississippi River on Monday night to divert rising floodwaters across Missouri farm fields to save the town of Cairo, Ill., from flooding.

Jim Pogue, spokesman for the corps at the Birds Point levee site at Sikeston, Mo., said the timing of the blast was dictated by river conditions.

Engineers placed liquid explosives along the levee banks, to be detonated simultaneously. The first blast cut an opening that will allow 4 feet of water to rush into a floodway, with two more blasts planned today downstream.

Extreme amounts of rain have sent river heights to record levels and strained levees, placing the town of Cairo — most of its 2,831 residents already evacuated — in jeopardy because of its location at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

Flood levels are likely to be exceeded this week at many points along a 400-mile stretch of the Mississippi below the confluence, Weather Underground meteorologistJeff Masters said.

Worst case scenario would be a breakdown of the Morgan City River control network

But the real threat posed by this historic, gathering flood may well lie several hundred miles to the south, where the Mississippi crosses the Louisiana border. There, as the Corps well knows but dare not discuss, this historic flood threatens to overwhelm one of the frailest defenses industrial humanity has offered to preserve its profits from the immutable processes of nature. This flood has the potential to be a mortal blow to the economy of the United States, and outside the Corp of Engineers virtually no one knows why. I explained it in detail in my book, Brace for Impact: Surviving the Crash of the Industrial Age.

There is an event coming to the Deep South that is as inevitable, and as imminent in geologic time, and as unpredictable in human time, and as dangerous to human life and enterprise, as are the Great California Earthquakes. It is as easy to say as it is hard to imagine: the Mississippi River is going to change course, and when it does will reach the sea 65 miles west of New Orleans, at Morgan City. This meandering of the the great river is not at all unusual – it happens frequently in geologic time – and is the process that created the Mississippi River Delta – a 200-mile-wide, three-million-acre arc of coastal wetlands stretching roughly from Lafayette, Louisiana, east to Biloxi, Mississippi. As the river nears the Gulf of Mexico, on the flat coastal plain, the current slows, allowing its massive loads of silt to settle out, creating new wetlands and building up the river bed, which eventually becomes higher than the surrounding area. Eventually the river breaks out, seeks a new and quicker way to the Gulf until the process repeats in about a thousand years.

Leave a Reply