by Angela Hatton, Kentucky Public Radio
A federal district judge says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can breach a levee in southeastern Missouri to alleviate flooding.
Missouri officials had argued that the Corps’ plan to break the levee would ruin 130,000 acres of valuable farm land. But Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, who intervened in the case, says the cost to Kentucky’s river communities would be much higher.
“One estimate that we got from Fulton County yesterday is that, that around the town of Hickman, Kentucky, this could save 32 million dollars in potential flood damage. So for the four river counties of Ballard, and Carlisle, and Hickman, and Fulton, this is tremendously important,” he says.
The Corps has not announced whether they will move forward with the levee’s destruction. That decision could come this weekend. The Ohio and Mississippi rivers are expected to crest at record-high levels in western Kentucky by early next week.