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Posted 12/15/2011

Release no. 11-38


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MEMPHIS, Tenn., DEC. 15, 2011 – City, county and Illinois state officials joined representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wednesday (Dec. 14) for a Levee Summit in Cairo, Ill. The meeting was part of the Corps’ comprehensive effort to make repairs to the regional flood risk management system following the tremendous floods this spring.

Col. Vernie Reichling, Commander of the Corps’ Memphis District, opened the meeting by giving an overview of existing levee and flood risk management projects in Cairo, and those currently under construction. He stressed the important role of local government in obtaining borrow material for levee construction and in securing rights-of-way (ROW) needed to build the final two seepage control projects in Cairo.

“This is a great opportunity for the people of Cairo, Alexander County and the entire Mississippi-Ohio River confluence area,” Col. Reichling said. “But we need your help to do this work,” he told the government officials present.

The Corps has made Federal repair funds available and established a date of June 30, 2012 for local authorities to secure ROW and borrow material for the work.

He went on to say Federal funding may be directed to other areas of concern if local authorities in the Cairo area are not able to meet this deadline.

“The Cairo levee system received an unacceptable rating following inspections in August 2010,” Col. Reichling said. “Completing this work will be a major step toward mitigating that unacceptable rating.

“Public safety is our number one priority, but we cannot repair the damaged system without the help of our local partners,” Col. Reichling said. “This has to be a team effort.”