Hickman takes flood safety measures

Hickman takes flood safety measures

Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 9:03 pm

Sandbags and plastic were installed at the openings of two flood gates in Hickman, Ky., Wednesday as a precautionary measure.
Hickman city manager Larry Myatt said the sandbags and plastic were placed at two openings at the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, strictly as a precaution.
The process by public works crews involved placing heavy gauge plastic on the Mississippi River side of the floodwall gaps and dropping about 300 sandbags to hold the plastic against the wall. There was no danger to the city at any time due to leaking.
The openings are located at Elvis Stahr Harbor and at the end of Kentucky Street in downtown Hickman. They were recently closed with the installation of timbers and rods after the forecast of waters over flood stage by the Corps of Engineers. A plan by the Corps calls for a new design of swing flood gates to be installed this year at the two floodwall openings.
Myatt added there is currently no flooding in Hickman.
“With all the water up above us, we’re not sure where (the river) will crest,” he told The Messenger.
Corps efforts
On March 12 at 9 a.m., the Memphis District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated Phase II floodfighting activities due to high Ohio River stages. The area of flooding is located in the northern portion of the Memphis District in and around Cairo, Ill., and New Madrid, Mo.
Phase II floodfight activities begin when the river gage at Cairo reaches 52.0 feet with a sustained rise forecasted. As of 9 a.m. March 14, the river stage at Cairo was 52.6 feet with a prolonged level of 52.5 expected. The river stage at Cape Girardeau, Mo., at that time was 33.1 feet with a slow but steady fall expected. Flood stage at Cape Girardeau is 32.0 feet.
During Phase II floodfight activities, Corps of Engineers personnel began more intensive monitoring of flood control works, including levees, floodwalls and pumping stations. They also made technical and material assistance available to local communities and flood control organizations to aid them in their floodfighting efforts.
As part of their routine Phase II response efforts, the Memphis District established field offices in Cape Girardeau and Dyersburg, with nine field personnel assigned to each office. Additionally, the Memphis District’s Caruthersville, Mo., area office had nine field personnel assigned to their area of responsibility.
At the corps’ district headquarters in Memphis, the Emergency Operations Center went to Activation Level III with elevated staffing to provide command and control support for the response effort. The EOC is staffed 12 hours per day, with personnel on call 24 hours a day.

Published in The Messenger 3.17.11

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