The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasted a levee at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to save the town of Cairo, Illinois—a controversial move since it will flood more than 100,000 acres of Missouri farmland. Water from the Mississippi River began flowing into the floodplain near midnight Tuesday, said Army Corps Maj. Gen. Michael Walshe. By 4 p.m. Monday, water in Cairo had reached 61.41 feet—nearly two feet above its record high—and it is predicted it will rise to 63 feet by Wednesday. Missouri officials tried to legally block the levee blast, arguing that only 100 homes would be harmed in Cairo if the levee stayed intact. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal Sunday night, leaving Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon no choice but to begin evacuating the Missouri plains.
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