News Release Manager

Corps of Engineers begins Phase I floodfight

Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published Jan. 16, 2020

MEMPHIS, Tenn., January 16, 2020 – The Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), has initiated Phase I floodfight activities in the Cairo, Reelfoot-Obion, and Missouri areas due to high river stages. Additionally, they expect to begin a Phase I floodfight on the White River in Arkansas near the communities of Georgetown and Des Arc later this week or over the weekend.

Current National Weather Service forecasts call for the Mississippi River to crest at 50 feet on the Cairo gage around Jan. 18-19.

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.            

Seven employees from the Memphis District’s Caruthersville (Missouri) Area Office are currently assigned to Phase I floodfight duties.

In addition to floodfight activities, the Memphis District provides materiel assistance to local communities and flood control organizations to aid them in their floodfighting efforts. These may include portable pumps to remove water from flooded areas, plastic sheeting to cover levees and help minimize levee slides and erosion, sandbags, and other items.

Citizens are strongly encouraged to stay in touch with their local authorities and emergency management officials for updates on conditions in their areas. USACE will deploy additional personnel and resources as required to ensure the safety of life and property.

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.


Jim Pogue

Release no. 20-001