MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 2, 2019 – The commander of the Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has declared a state of emergency in areas near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
Forecasts call for the river gage at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to rise above the Phase I floodfight activation level (38 feet) on May 3, and above the Phase II activation level (43 feet) on May 5.
The Cairo, Illinois, gage will rise above Phase I activation level (49 feet) on May 6 and above Phase II activation level (52 feet) on May 8.
The Memphis District will deploy the Cairo area flood fight team on May 5 and deploy the Missouri Area and Reelfoot Obion Area floodfight teams on May 8.
A floodfight team from the Corps’ Caruthersville (Missouri) Area Office will begin Phase I patrols on May 3 in the Cairo area and on May 6 in the Missouri and Reelfoot Obion Area.
Based on current forecasts the Memphis District expects to be engaged in a floodfight for approximately the next three weeks.
During Phase I floodfight activities, USACE personnel deploy to the field and monitor all federal flood control works including levees, flood walls and pumping stations. They also monitor rainfall amounts in the affected areas and National Weather Service forecasts to determine if further action is warranted.
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.
The USACE Division headquarters in Vicksburg, Mississippi, 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.