Watch the U.S. Army Blow Up a Mississippi Levee

The Army blasted an 11,000 ft hole in the levee to divert flood water

This article is from the archive of our partner .

At 10 pm last night, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blew up a portion of a Mississippi river levee in Missouri, sending a reported 550,000 cubic feet of water a second gushing across 130,000 acres. The plan was an attempt to divert water away from the mostly evacuated city of Cairo, Illinois--which sits where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers meet--and into the farmlands of Missouri. The video below, courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, shows real-time and time-delayed version of the Army blasting an 11,000 foot hole into the levee.

In real time playback, a brief flash of light explodes on screen and the subsequent crackling of the blast is heard. When the video is slowed down to six frames per second, however, a streak of light fired from the Army Corps is visible before the levee becomes awash in light. At two frames per second, the visuals are even more dramatic. According to the Chicago Tribune, the plan has achieved some initially positive results: the level of the Mississippi river near Cairo has dropped nearly a foot since the blast.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.