Posted at 09:03 AM ET, 05/03/2011

Mississippi River levee blown up [Video]

This image taken from video shows the explosion after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blows an 11,000 foot hole in the Birds Point levee. (David Carson/AP)
A levee along the Mississippi River was blown up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Monday in order to save an Illinois town from floodwaters. From the Associated Press:

The corps said the break in the Birds Point levee would help tiny Cairo, Ill., by diverting up to 4 feet of water off the river. Just before Monday night’s explosions, river levels at Cairo were at historic highs and creating pressure on the floodwall protecting the town. For the Missouri side, the blasts were likely unleashing a muddy torrent into empty farm fields and around evacuated homes in Mississippi County

The decision to blow up the levee was contested by Missouri lawmakers and farmers, as it could potentially flood 130,000 acres of evacuated farmland. However, the U.S. Supreme Court refused the request to halt the explosion Sunday. It is not clear yet if the blast will provide the intended relief to Cairo, Ill.Watch video of the dramatic explosion from an ABC affiliate in Missouri below:

Here’s a slowed down version:

By  |  09:03 AM ET, 05/03/2011

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