Checiking the forecast for the Ohio River at Cairo, Ill., the NWS is calling for a crest of 42.4 Dec. 5.
With the reading at 37.4 on Wednesday and a forecast of 38.28 by 9 p.m. Thursday is appears the river is expected to rise nearly a foot a day over this five-day span.
With 51′ level reached at the upper and lower crevasses and with work proceeding as fast as humanely possible on the middle crevasse to get that 1.000 foot breach to the interim level. The Corps has publically stated their intent to aggressively flood flight the levee breaches to 55′ – and if one is to use a little logic – would fight higher if the fight could be won.
Broadcast and print reports have cited local politicians as concerned the interim grades will not be reached in time to ward off the water that is coming now – and the anticipated coming winter rains and runoff leading up to the sure-fire seasonal spring rise.
For perspectives sake; here’s what we’re looking at; The lower crevasse is settled and with the breach in accessible points, flood fighting that will be the easier of the three. The middle crevasse – if a flood fight is needed – will be easily accessible on the land side of the levee but river access is a ways a way as noted by how far the dredging pipes were laid to bring in the sand from the river to fill in the new blue hole.
The upper crevasse, also knows as the confluence by the Corps, has been the site of incredible earth work and there is additional work being done just north of Cairo and in Western Kentucky to bring about a new management technique on the ‘confluence.’
As the middle crevasse is nearly 9,000 foot in length, flood fighting along this length of levee would be difficult; dangerous and costly. It is desired to have the 55′ mark hit and hope the river doesn’t ‘make another historic rise.
So, again, we are dealing with historical flood on top of the spring 2011 Flood of Record.
Rest assured, the USACE, under new MRC president Peabody, are aware of the recent problems as Peabody recently held the Great Lakes post the dealt with the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers and was instrumental in keeping the water back for as long as he could in late April.
Risking potential dam failures and widespread flooding in doing so. In fact, had Peabody and the Great Lakes Division had their way in the activation of the BPNMF its highly likely the deed would have been done prior to May 2.