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Posted 7/24/2012

Release no. 12-09


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MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 24, 2012 – The Mississippi River Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are moving forward with full restoration of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway mainline levee to its authorized pre-2011 flood level by the end of this year … December 2012.

This feature of the overall Mississippi River and Tributaries system was operated as designed during the record flood of 2011 by breeching the levee with explosives in three locations to relieve pressure on the larger system. The repair work will include restoration of protection to a pre-flood level equivalent to 62.5 feet on the Cairo (Illinois) river gage with a full width levee profile.

Work to fully restore the Floodway levee to its pre-operation level assumes construction crews will make scheduled progress on regional work in Fulton County, Ky., and in the Cairo, Ill., area. Good construction weather and favorable river stages will also be a factor.

"With public safety our number one priority, we are working as hard as possible to complete the work this year," said the Corps’ Memphis District Commander Col. Vernie Reichling.