EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. (AP) - The Army Corps of Engineers is readying a southeastern Missouri levee along the Mississippi River ready for explosives even as a federal judge awaits arguments over whether it should be intentionally breached.
A federal court hearing is scheduled for Thursday on Missouri's bid to stop the corps from blasting open the Birds Point levee.
The corps says the breach may be needed to ease waters rising just upriver in Cairo (KAY'-roh), Ilinois, where the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers converge.
Cairo has a 64-foot downtown floodwall and earthen levees elsewhere. It's staring at a river level of more than 58 feet, with expectations it will reach a record 61.5 feet by this weekend.