News Release Manager

Corps of Engineers raises floodfight response to Phase II

Published Jan. 10, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 10, 2005 – The Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, initiated Phase II floodfighting activities at 6 a.m. today due to high Mississippi River stages. 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 Mississippi River on the west bank Scott City, Missouri, to the Arkansas-Missouri state line and on the east bank from Cairo, Illinois.
Phase II floodfight activities begin when the river gage at Cairo, Ill., approaches approximately 52.0 feet or the Cape Girardeau, Mo., gage reaches 43.0 feet. The river stage at Cairo was 48.0 feet Sunday evening, with a crest of 50.0 expected on Tuesday, Jan. 11. The river stage at Cape Girardeau was 34.2 feet Sunday evening, and has already crested.

In response to previous river forecasts, which showed the Cairo gage reaching 52.0 feet this week, Memphis District Commander Col. Charles O. Smithers III, initiated Phase II operations at 6 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 10. Although current river forecasts look more favorable that previously expected, the Corps remains concerned about forecasted precipitation midweek. Due to this possibility and striving to maintain a proactive posture, the Corps will continue with activation as planned.

During Phase II floodfight activities, Corps of Engineers personnel begin more intensive monitoring of flood control works including levees, floodwalls and pumping stations.

Technical and materiel assistance to local communities and flood control organizations is also made available to aid them in their floodfighting efforts.

The Corps today established field offices in Cape Girardeau, Mo., with nine Corps emergency workers on duty there, Caruthersville, Mo., with eight workers there and Dyersburg, Tenn., staffed by eight emergency workers.

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. 05-02