In the river’s path

Behind a white house just off Highway 102 in Mississippi Co., a book sat on the back step, its pages warped together from water damage.

The book, a mass market paperback about warlocks and shape shifters titled “Guardian’s Keep,” was open with the first few pages folded behind the cover, as if someone put it down to answer the front door.

Should anyone come to the door today, no one is home to answer.

The house was abandoned when the Mississippi River rushed through the area this summer. In the river’s wake, windows were broken, furniture lay upturned, and a piano looked as if someone pushed it over.

 In May, the Army Corps of Engineers decided to breach the Birds Point levee with explosives to protect the town of Cairo, Ill.  Kevin Mainord, mayor of East Prairie, Mo., said that the Corps’ decision was directly responsible for flood waters destroying homes and damaging over 3,000 acres of agricultural land in Mississippi Co.

 Mainord believes that the Corps should have let the river overtop the Birds Point levee naturally, rather than destroying it.

“We contend that just because they had the right to do it, doesn’t mean it was the right thing to do,” he said.

 – Ben Unglesbee, edited by Emily Garnett

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