U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) responded to an announcement that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would detonate explosives to breach the Birds Point levee by saying that the decision puts residents' lives and livelihoods at "unacceptable risk."
"The New Madrid floodway is not a failsafe for the rest of the Mississippi River Basin. The likelihood of dramatic flooding at other points along the river has not been changed by the decision today, but opening the floodway guarantees that the people living and working in the New Madrid floodway will suffer. We have a long, long road ahead of us. The certain damage to homes, buildings and productive farmland will take years to undo. I have high expectations that the Corps go above and beyond to aid the recovery effort for the people and communities affected by this disaster," Emerson said.