Cairo, Ill. residents ordered to evacuate

May 1, 2011 2:22:04 PM PDT
The surging Mississippi and Ohio rivers threaten downstate Cairo, and the Missouri Attorney General is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the Army Corps of Engineers from blowing a hole in a local levee.

If the corps does blow the levee, that would protect Cairo but flood 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland. The river water levels are breaking records and Saturday the Cairo mayor ordered a mandatory evacuation of the town's 2,800 residents.

The biggest concerns are the predicted rains and sand boils, or rushing springs of water, that are popping up.

For now, the mayor says there is no break in the levee and that he simply wants to protect the people of his community.