Archive for December 6th, 2011

Unprecedented rain precipatates probable flooding….


That, unfortunately, is the worst case scenario. Freshly interim levees are built; elevated to

Beginning of breach at Upper Crevasse...

the 51′ mark. However, published reports say only 15% of the Upper Crevasse has been put to 55′. Why is that so important? Since the epic 1927 flood, the Ohio River gauge at Cairo Ill., has reached that mark only five times. In 1937, 1950, 1973, 1993 & 2011. How many times has it hit 51′. Too many to list in this brief piece (will update later).

USACE officials issued a press release today:

In essence, given due and clear warning that flooding is anticipated and if one reads between the lines just a bit the flood fight will be addressed by all means necessary including using innovative materials to bring the breach up to 55′.

Trouble is. That’s about 7,500 feet of levee to implement these measures. And, it will be on top of a newly formed crown. Not, the almost century long levee that withstood the initial blasts with fury refusing to yield the length anticipated in the breaches and with one crevasse completely averse to operating as designed.

Middle Crevasse. Nov. 4 2011

The serious matter is another rush of wather thru these fields would be – and its hard to say again – but a Groundhog Day of devastation; with weeks and months of cleanup for anxious farmers; workers and citizens. As the community is just now getting back to some sense of normalcy but – and this is just my observation – still not back to prior activation days…

In control of the situation, as was the case in late April and early May, is the epic rainfall training in all the wrong places right up the Ohio River Valley and thru the Tennessee and Cumberland Valley.  Keep an eye of the Dams and river levels on those tributaries of the Ohio and you will get a preview of what kind of water will be flowing thru – well, hopefully – around Mississippi and New Madrid County.

I have placed a call this evening to James Pogue, PR man for the USACE and hope to get some additional information I will share once gathered.

No one wants to experience what is still fresh in the mind of the citizenry. Not one.

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This today from the USACE:

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE
Possibility of renewed flooding in Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway area
MEMPHIS, Tenn., DEC. 5, 2011 – Based on National Weather Service forecasts of unseasonably high river levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advises citizens with interests in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway that a significant risk of renewed flooding in that area exists for the near future. According to the Weather Service, a strong La Niña weather pattern over the United States has been, and is expected to continue to bring, heavy rains weekly to the Lower Mississippi River Valley along with the Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland river basins through the middle of December. The La Niña will continue to bring the likelihood of above normal precipitation through spring. “Unfavorable weather conditions prevented us from reaching our target gage of 51 feet on the Cairo gage at the middle crevasse near Big Oak Tree State Park by Nov. 30,” Col. Vernie Reichling, commander of the Corps’ Memphis District said. “However, we did reach this level of protection on Dec. 3 and continued placement of clay material to a level of 55 feet. “At the upper crevasse we achieved the 51-foot level of protection by Nov. 30 as targeted,” Col. Reichling continued. “Weather conditions, however, continue to hamper our ability to achieve our revised target of 55 feet using normal levee construction techniques. As such, I have directed workers to preposition supplies and equipment that will allow us to reach a 55-foot level of protection with temporary construction methods.” Materials to be prepositioned for a temporary levee include supplies like HESCO bastions (large collapsible wire mesh containers with heavy duty fabric liners filled with sand), sand bags and plastic sheeting. These materials can be used to quickly raise the levee height. The HESCO bastions and related work can be done around the clock and would not be as dependent upon favorable weather conditions as conventional levee construction is. Concurrently, Corps employees will also continue to raise the levee by placing clay as weather conditions permit. Recent heavy rains in the area of the Floodway have stopped this work several times in the last few weeks and slowed progress. Citizens in the area are urged to stay in touch with their local authorities, and closely monitor river forecasts from the National Weather Service and additional information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They should be prepared to take whatever measures they believe are necessary to safeguard their lives and property. “The Corps’ number one priority is and remains public safety,” Col. Reichling said.

Meaning, the 2011 Flood of Record continues….

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