NPR logo VIDEO: Mississippi River Levee Is Blown


VIDEO: Mississippi River Levee Is Blown

The blast, which blew a Mississippi River levee in a bid to help Cairo, Ill. St. Louis Post-Dispatch hide caption

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch

It was quite a blast last night when, as The Associated Press says, "the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers exploded a large section of a Mississippi River levee ... in a desperate attempt to protect an Illinois town from rising floodwaters."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has put together a video that includes a real-time view of the blast and two other versions in which the explosion is shown in slow and slower motion.

This morning, the Post-Dispatch reports that the plan seems to be working:

"Officials said that allowing water to fill the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway would relieve pressure and lower record flooding upstream at Cairo, Ill., where the Mississippi and Ohio rivers converge.

"And by 7:30 a.m, that was happening. The National Weather Service said before the breach, the Cairo level was at 61.72 feet and rising. By Tuesday morning, the river was at 60.62 feet and was expected to keep falling to 59.4 feet by Saturday."