News Release Manager

Corps of Engineers activates Phase I floodfight for second time

Published April 20, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 20, 2011 – For a second time this spring, the Memphis District, U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, has initiated a Phase I floodfight in the northern portion of their area of
responsibility due to high Mississippi and Ohio River stages.

The lands affected by the current high water are located at the confluence of the Mississippi and
Ohio rivers at Cairo, Ill., and southward to the New Madrid area in Missouri, and the Reelfoot-Obion
area in Tennessee.

Phase I floodfight activities begin when the Mississippi River gage at Cairo, Ill., reaches 49.0
feet. The river stage at Cairo reached 49.0 feet at 9 a.m. on April 20, and is forecasted to remain at or
near that level for the foreseeable future.

Earlier this spring, Memphis District officials initiated a Phase I floodfight in these same areas
on March 7, and elevated their response to Phase II on March 12. These efforts continued until March 24 when river levels dropped below Phase I levels.

During Phase I floodfight activities, Corps of Engineers personnel deploy to the field and
monitor flood control works including levees, flood walls and pumping stations.

Corps personnel will continue to monitor rainfall in the Missouri, upper Mississippi and Ohio
river basins, and National Weather Service forecasts to determine if Phase II floodfight activation is

The Corps’ Division headquarters in Vicksburg, Miss, coordinates all floodfight activities in the
Mississippi Valley. The Corps’ Emergency Operations Center in Memphis is directing these floodfight
activities 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 control 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.
Public Affairs Office

Release no. 11-07