River level drops in Cairo after levee breach
By JIM SUHR and JIM SALTER Associated Press May 3, 2011 7:20AM
Water washes over through an area where the Army Corps of Engineers blew a large hole in the Birds Point levee Monday, May 2, 2011, in Mississippi County, Mo. Army Corps of Engineers' Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh gave the order to blow a two-mile hole into the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri, which will flood 130,000 acres of farmland in Missouri's Mississippi County but protect nearby Cairo, Ill. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
WYATT, Mo. — The National Weather Service says the level of the Mississippi River has dropped dramatically since the Army Corps of Engineers blew a hole in a levee to try to prevent a small Illinois town from being submerged.
The weather service says on its website that before the intentional breach at Birds Point late Monday the river was at 61.72 feet and rising in Cairo (KAY’-roh).
It says the river is at 60.62 feet as of Tuesday morning and that it is expected to continue falling to 59.4 feet by Saturday.
The Army Corps exploded the levee after nightfall Monday, sacrificing 130,000 acres of rich farmland and about 100 homes in Missouri to spare Cairo, a town of 2,800 residents that is at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.