Army Engineers flood 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland to save blighted Illinois town of 2,800

Judge says southern Illinois levee can be blown up

By Miriam Moynihan

A federal judge on Friday ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can blow up a Mississippi River levee, which would flood Missouri farmland but prevent the flooding of an Illinois town.

NYTimes May 2nd update: Missouri has appealed to the US Supreme Court, while at this moment, explosives are being packed.

May 3rd update below. The levee was exploded and farmland flooded.

U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr. [appointed by Bush in 2008 and related to Rush Limbaugh] ruled that the Corps had the right to breach the levee to prevent flooding in Cairo, Illinois, as permitted by a 1928 law.

The levee breach could flood 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland, which contains about 90 homes. Missouri had filed suit to prevent the Corps from carrying out its plan.

Limbaugh wrote that he found that the Corps is committed to implementing the plan only as essential to provide protection to all citizens. He wrote “this Court finds that no aspect of the Corps’ response to these historic floods suggests arbitrary or capricious decision-making is occurring.”

The Corps plans to decide this weekend whether to blow up the Birds Point levee, depending on the level of water in the river. It will detonate explosives in the levee if the Cairo river reaches 61 feet. At 8 a.m. local time on Friday, it was at 59 feet and was forecast to rise to 60.5 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

Read more at Reuters

27 responses to “Army Engineers flood 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland to save blighted Illinois town of 2,800

  1. Hey, what about equal protection of the law? Where is the government authorized to destroy some folks’ homes, land, and farming livelihood to save other folks in a town that perhaps could resort to other measures to prevent the flooding? Since when can a federal or state judge choose to destroy some folks and their property and livelihood purportedly to save other folks and their property and livelihood? Then there is the fact that the farmland to be flooded would otherwise be used to feed folks. Can an act of nature be used to persecute some so as to purportedly protect others? Seems to me the citizens of Cairo, Illinois should endure the act of God to the best of their ability, and I’d be willing to bet those Missouri folks who would be rendered homeless and have their land and livelihood destroyed should the levee be blown up would voluntarily help them all they could, however the occupants of Cairo, Illinois would not be willing to help the Missouri folks, nor would they be able to do so. What gross injustice!

  2. yeah, this is pretty absurd… even for a Limbaugh.

    Seriously, it’s a horrific miscarriage of justice

  3. I agree with dgbaugh and Rady.
    My stance:
    None of Army corps of engineers’ projects benefited more for the coporations than the people = TVA in the 40’s, NOLA’s levees in the 60’s, pollution of Lake Okeechebee after the oxbows in the Kissimmee were straightened in 1937.
    What is most important: fertile soil to feed people or preserve a broken city filled with folks on he dole? They can be evacuated. What authority does a PC liberal judge hold the power to ordain the destruction of the levee(s) in Cairo?

  4. ‘folks on THE dole’

  5. There may be some argument in the property owners’ favor or at least a cause for a petition of relief based on the premise in H.R. 1433, Protection of Private Property Rights. It appears to me, that whether the government is going to use a bulldozer or a targeted flood action, to take over private farm property, there should be protection for the farm property owners. Then again, it all depends upon what the definition of the word “is”, is.

    H.R. 1433 : To Protect Private Property Rights:

    SEC. 8. Sense of Congress Regarding Rural America.
    (a) Findings. – The Congress finds the following:

    (1) The founders realized the fundamental importance of property rights when they codified the Taking Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which requires that private property shall not be taken “for public use, without just compensation”.

    (2) Rural lands are unique in that they are not traditionally considered high tax revenue-generating properties for State and local governments. In addition, farmland and forest land owners need to have long-term certainty regarding their property rights in order to make the investment decisions to commit land to these uses.

    (3) Ownership rights in rural land are fundamental building blocks for our nation’s agriculture industry, which continues to be one of the most important economic sectors of our economy.

    (b) Sense of Congress – “It is the sense of Congress that the use of eminent domain for the purpose of economic development is a threat to agricultural and other property in rural America and that the Congress should protect the property rights of Americans, including those who reside in rural areas. Property rights are central to liberty in this country and to our economy…”

    Sec. 9. Definitions.
    In this Act the following definitions apply:
    (1) Economic Development
    (A) Conveying private property –
    (iv) for use of an aqueduct, flood control facility, pipeline, or similar use;

    I’m still trying to sort through all of the ‘government-ease language’, however at least there are indications that there exists a “Sense of Congress” towards American liberties.

    From the wheelchair, good night, and good luck.
    Morning Star

  6. But the corps has had plans for years (since the 1927 flood) to use the Birds Point Levee as the entry point of a floodway to relieve pressure on the adjacent Mississippi river. The floodway has been used once in the past, during the 1937 flood. It is the fault of land developers and planning commissions that allowed the lands within the floodway to be occupied.

  7. NYTimes May 2nd update: Missouri has appealed to the US Supreme Court, while at this moment, explosives are being packed.

  8. One also has to wonder how many biotech farms will be flooded, spreading their frankenseed south

    • grandpappymike

      That’s an excellent point that I didn’t even think about when I first read this story. The infected farms could then be held liable to Monsanto or whoever has patents on the seeds for hundreds of thousands of dollars through no fault of their own.

  9. Morning Star

    There have been several reports over the past few months about government agencies gathering extra food, water and survival supplies in the New Madrid region. More than likely for preps of a massive earthquake disaster. However, it’s possible that there was also prior knowledge of plans for a ‘royal flush’ from Cairo to the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway.

    No matter how we choose to understand it – a clash of flood and earthquake senarios will indeed prove to become a horrific mess with significant loss of life, liberty, property and vital resources.

    I certainly hope that everyone heeds the advice for long term emergency food, water, non-Monsanto seed storage, medical supplies, security and a safe secondary shelter of their choice.

    Updates & Info:
    “Photo Shows Overtopping Of Frontline Levee Near Mississippi”:

    “Corps Of Engineers To Break Levee”: (See news video):

    “New Madrid: The Edge Of Potential Disaster”:

    Less-Prepared Central U.S. Also Prone To Earthquakes: (Click Map View Link):

    “H.R. 1433 – Property Protection Rights”:
    Sec. 16. Sense Of Congress:
    It is the sense of Congress that any and all precautions shall be taken by the government to avoid the unfair or unreasonable taking of property away from survivors of Hurricane Katrina who own, were bequeathed, or assigned such property, for economic development purposes or for the private use of others.

    From the wheelchair, good night, and good luck.

    Morning Star

  10. Reply to Albert..Judge Limbaugh is Rush Limbaugh’s cousin. I hardly think he’s a PC liberal judge.

  11. Follow the money and you will know why it was blown. It was to save gambling in IL. It is always about money and power. At least Bush hid his dirty laundry and drug running, but Obama is just a thug and lets it all hang out.

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