The Army Corp initiated the flood plan and intentionally blew a levee to flood farm land in Missouri to relieve the flooding up here. When I say blew, I really mean blew. I felt it about 50-60 miles away. It was a small earthquake. Some people actually got broken windows from it.
The whole decision was a very heated debate on both sides of the river. There was the city of Cairo, IL (where the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers meet) that wanted it blown before the city was destroyed and then there were the 400-500 farmers in Missouri who of course didn't want to lose their land. There were no winners in my opinion. The people that were for blowing it kept saying it was lives vs. land. To me, it was land vs. land because both sides had ample evacuation notice if they would just get out of the way...
So that has lowered the river somewhat, although flooding is still occurring. Where I live is 2nd only to the 1937 flood. And if it wasn't for the flood wall that they built, I would have been either sandbagging the house, getting the heck out of dodge or both.
As it stands, Metropolis was badly hit the last few days and so many areas around where I grew up in southern IL were badly hit. It's so sad seeing the pictures.
Locally, a Krogers was affected and it almost got to the liqueur store and the car dealerships nearby Krogers. And a tree was uprooted in the park from saturated ground.
For anyone who wants to help, Red Cross is the best aid source right now for the majority of our area:
West Kentucky: http://www.paducahredcross.org/donate.asp
Southern Illinois: http://www.redcrosslittleegypt.org/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=140