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Posted 6/19/2015

Release no. 15-007

Jim Pogue

MEMPHIS, Tenn., June 19, 2015 – The Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) initiated Phase I floodfighting this morning due to high river stages on the Upper Mississippi River. The area of current or possible flooding is located in the northern portion of the Memphis District in the Charleston (Missouri) and Cairo (Illinois) Sectors. The lands likely to be affected by the forecasted high water are located in and around the communities of Cape Girardeau, Scott City, Chaffee and Commerce, Mo. Floodfight personnel will also be active in the community of Cairo, Ill., due to the high water on the Mississippi River. The Ohio River is currently below floodfight activation stages but will rise above flood stage.

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 will continue to monitor rainfall amounts in the affected areas, and National Weather Service forecasts to determine if further action is warranted. 

Based upon current National Weather Service forecasts, the river is expected to rise for the next several days. Based on this information, USACE officials anticipate activating a Phase II floodfight on Monday, June 22.

During a Phase II activation, USACE personnel begin more intensive, around the clock monitoring of flood risk reduction works. They also make technical and materiel assistance available to local communities and flood control organizations to aid them in their floodfighting efforts.

The USACE Division headquarters in Vicksburg, Miss, 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.