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Posted 1/9/2016

Release no. 16-003

Jim Pogue

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 9, 2016 – The Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is currently in a Phase II floodfight due to high river stages on the Mississippi River. The area of current or possible flooding is located in the Helena, Ark., and Clarksdale, Miss., Areas on the Lower Mississippi River. Communities that may be affected include Tunica, Friars Point, Rosedale and other communities near the river in Mississippi, and Helena/West Helena, Melwood, and other riverside communities in Arkansas.

Approximately 20 USACE employees working in eastern Arkansas and northeastern Mississippi join approximately 70 employees who are already deployed to flooded areas in the Memphis metropolitan area and the region north of here. The field personnel are conducting patrols each day from 6 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., checking the condition of levees and other flood protection structures and looking for problems like water seepage under levees. They are being supported by 25 additional employees working at the USACE Emergency Operations Center at the District Headquarters office in Memphis.

During a Phase II activation, USACE personnel intensively monitor government 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.   -30-