News Release Manager

Corps of Engineers launches floodfight in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas

Published Feb. 27, 2018

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 26, 2018 – The Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began Phase I floodfight activities on Feb. 25 on the Mississippi River north of Memphis and on the White River in Arkansas. At 7 a.m. today USACE officials elevated that status to a Phase II floodfight in the Cairo (Illinois), Missouri, and Reelfoot-Obion (Kentucky and Tennessee) floodfight areas. The White River Area in Arkansas remains in Phase I floodfight status. 

Communities affected by this activity may include:

Cairo Area: Cities of Cairo and Mound City, Illinois.

Missouri Area: Caruthersville, East Prairie, Charleston and New Madrid, Mo.

Reelfoot Obion Area: Hickman, Ky.; Tiptonville, Dyersburg and Ridgley, Tenn.

White River Area: Clarendon, De Valls Bluff, Des Arc, Biscoe and Augusta, Ark.

As of this afternoon approximately 24 USACE field personnel were mobilizing to begin the floodfight response. The Phase II field personnel will conduct patrols each day from 6 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., checking the condition of levees and other flood protection structures and looking for problems like water seepage under levees. Additional employees working at the USACE Emergency Operations Center at the District Headquarters in Memphis are supporting the field personnel. 

During a Phase II activation, USACE personnel intensively monitor government flood risk reduction works. They also make technical assistance, supplies and equipment available to local communities and flood control organizations to supplement local and state resources engaged in floodfighting efforts.

During a Phase I activation, USACE personnel also deploy to the field and monitor all federal flood control works including levees, flood walls and pumping stations but on a less rigorous schedule than during a Phase II activation. Additionally, they closely monitor rainfall amounts in the affected areas, and National Weather Service forecasts to determine if conditions warrant further action.

At the request of state emergency management authorities, the Corps of Engineers has supplied or loaned the following equipment and supplies to several communities. This includes:

 One 12-inch pump with 300 feet of hose to the City of Wynne, Ark.

Ten rolls of plastic sheeting to protect levees from erosion to Lake County, Tenn.

Two 12-inch pumps to the City of Clarendon, Ark.

Two vertical lift sewer pumps and 1,000 feet of hose to the City of Cairo, Ill.

As the current situation evolves, USACE will deploy additional personnel and resources as required to ensure the safety of life and property.

Citizens are strongly encouraged to stay in touch with their local authorities and emergency management officials for updates on conditions in their areas.

The USACE Division headquarters in Vicksburg, Miss, coordinates all floodfight activities in the Mississippi Valley. The USACE Emergency Operations Center in Memphis directs all floodfight activities in its area of responsibility in conjunction with the affected states, levee districts and other local interest groups.

The Federal flood protection works in the Mississippi Valley protect many thousands of homes, millions of lives and vast tracts of fertile cropland. The Memphis District’s flood risk reduction system has prevented more than $4.3 billion in flood damages and protected more than five million acres of cropland in the last decade alone.



Jim Pogue

Release no. 18-004