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Blunt meets with Corps to talk restoration of Birds Point floodway

Mo. Sen. Roy Blunt.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Mo. Sen. Roy Blunt.

Reporting from KRCU's Jacob McCleland was used in this report.

Army Corps of Engineers officials and Mississippi County farmers met with Senator Roy Blunt Thursday to discuss the restoration of the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway.

The Corps is currently building a temporary levee to 51 feet - more than eleven feet lower than the original levee that was detonated in May to relieve massive flooding on the Mississippi River.

Senator Blunt visited the 170 thousand acre floodway and wants the federal government to fulfill its obligation to Southeast Missouri farmers.

"Hopefully we’re going to reach a good common sense solution here that does what the federal government is now required to do, which is to restore the protection level to where it was before the Corps exercised the half of the plan that takes it down," Blunt said. "The other half of the plan is you've got to put [it] back up.”

Corps officials say the levee will be rebuilt to its original 62 feet when adequate funding is released. The temporary levee will be complete by November 16.

Farmers argued the Corps ignores local input and urged the installation of a natural overtopping mechanism when the levee is rebuilt to its original height.