Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No Hodgepodge - Just Flood Waters

It's been a frustrating week. We haven't been to school because of water (oh and we have PLENTY of water!). Cairo sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers at the bottom of the state of Illinois and is currently in a desperate situation. Voluntary evacuations began on Tuesday. Mandatory could come tomorrow from what I hear. Many people refuse to leave because they see no danger.

It's hard to watch this struggle. Currently, there is an argument about whether or not to intentionally breech the Birds Point Levee. It actually sits in Missouri. I don't know a lot about it, but from what I understand, this levee was built in the late 1920s in case something like this were to happen - it was designed for this very reason. I know that it would flood hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland, depositing sand which would impact that land for decades. There are 2 sides to this coin and I don't like either of them and I'm upset with the people who can only seem to see one side - their side. It really frustrates me when people do not consider how others will be affected by doing things 'their way'.

There is a LOT of pressure on the levee at Cairo.I think the Corp of Engineers' biggest concern is not water coming over the flood wall (but as you can see, the level is incredibly high - that's the flood wall and a barge - crazy), but rather, the levee breaking under the pressure of the river.

My biggest fear? The levee will break and many people will have failed to heed the warning to get out. While I was at the flood wall today I saw one of my students in the truck with his dad who said, "that water has a ways to go before it spills over that wall - I don't know what all this fuss is about". Do they not know that if the levee breaks the water will rise so quickly that they will not have time to get out. I just want to scream, "PEOPLE, GET OUT!!!!"

Even if the levee holds and they blow a hole in the Birds Point Levee, I don't think anyone is considering what effect it will have on the backwaters (which are rising faster than the river). As the river recedes, that water has to go just pushes to other places.


I don't know what is going to happen over the next few days. Please keep flood victims in your prayers. There are some cities that are already flooded. People are loosing their homes and business because it won't stop raining! A local home center had this as their sign:

I firmly believe that God is in control and that He has a purpose in all of this, but it most certainly doesn't make it any less frustrating!


CaseyRhea said...

I have been quite torn over this whole levee deal myself. I suppose, living outside of the area that will be directly effect by the breech, I see merit in both sides. However, my heart is really with the citizens of Cairo. I just don't think it is as important to "save" farmland and worry about insurance paying for damages. Those people would still be alive! Lives can (and likely will) be lost if the Birds Pointe levee isn't blown. The Army Corps of Engineers has an action plan for a reason - to save lives! I just can't stop thinking that yes, the land will be changed if the levee is blown - but that doesn't mean it will be completely useless. There are other crops which could thrive in the sand covered soil. Not to mention, the flood water will leave silt on top of the sand. The farmland could come out better than it is. Take a risk to help save the lives of your neighbors, people! A day might come when you are in need, and who will you ask for help?

Tara said...

I'm glad you posted this, Sheena. I don't get too many updates out here. It is really frustrating that people seem to be disregarding the warnings about how dangerous the situation is down there. I know for many of them it is a very difficult decision to make--leaving their homes and jobs. I have been lucky enough not to have to deal with a major hurricane in the 6 years I have been living on the East Coast, but every year it is a possibility. It is frustrating to think about leaving when you know that the "hurricane" might barely be a rainstorm once it makes landfall--which has happened SEVERAL times since I have been out here. I just pray that God will give them the wisdom to make the right decision about the levee, and there won't be lives lost due to ignorance.

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