News Release Manager

Corps of Engineers gears-up for predicted Mississippi River flooding

Published March 19, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 19, 2008 – The Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, initiated a Phase I floodfight at 7 a.m. today due to high Mississippi River stages with higher stages forecasted. The area of flooding is located in the northern portion of the Memphis District.

The lands affected by the current high water are located along the headwater diversion channel of the Mississippi River near Dutchtown, Mo. Friday, flooding is forecast to begin along the west bank of the Mississippi River from Scott City, Mo., to the Arkansas-Missouri state line and on the east bank near Cairo, Ill.

Phase I floodfight activities begin when the river gage at Cairo, Ill., approaches approximately 49.0 feet or the Cape Girardeau, Mo., gage reaches 38.0 feet. The river stage at Cairo was 45.1 feet at 7 p.m. last night, with a crest of 55.0 expected on Tuesday, March 25. The river stage at Cape Girardeau was 31.0 at 7 p.m. last night, with a crest of 40.0 feet expected on Sunday, March 23.

During Phase I floodfight activities, Corps of Engineers personnel deploy to the field and monitor all federal 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 required.

The Corps’ Division headquarters in Vicksburg, Miss, coordinates all floodfight activities in the Lower Mississippi Valley. The Corps’ Emergency Operations Center in Memphis is directing floodfight activities in conjunction with the affected states, levee districts and other local interest groups.

The Federal flood protection works in the Lower 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. 08-05