There's something happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear.
At this hour, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have given the go-ahead for the Bird's Point levee on the Mississippi River along the Illinois-Missouri border to be deliberately blown up via a massive shipment of explosives that was quickly barged in last night.
The state of Missouri itself does not want the levee exploded, and has filed a last-ditch effort to get the Supreme Court to stop it. I've seen sources that give differing takes on how Kentucky feels about it, but both versions put Fulton County squarely in the risk region. Apparently Kentucky is, in fact, in favor of the levee's destruction:
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said his state would join Illinois because failure to blow up the levee could cause an estimated $32 million in damage to Fulton County Kentucky including the town of Hickman nearby.
The town of Cairo has been evacuated against its will, and reports are that hundreds of thousands of acres of prime farmland will be permanently submerged under water by bombing the levee.
So why is this happening?
Two "sand boils" have erupted in nearby Cairo, Illinois, and they're enormous. Workers trying to control these spontaneous volcano-like eruptions of sand and water from deep under the Earth's surface are saying it's the biggest sand boil breakout they've ever seen. The sand boils are a sign of immense water pressure, and fear is that Missouri's aging and weak levee will not be able to stand this pressure much longer before collapsing.
Additionally, sinkholes are popping up everywhere, even in the middle of city streets. The ground is quickly reaching the disaster point of soil liquefaction.
Now, obviously, the levee collapsing would be a bad thing, so I'm not really sure why they think it's such a great idea to jump ahead and destroy it ourselves. The end result will be exactly the same - catastrophic flooding. They say doing it their way, with a controlled detonation, will save the town of Cairo and divert the water elsewhere. But if the sand boils are already in Cairo itself, then I'm confused, boss.
No, the only reason I can fathom to do this - and this is just me speculatin', this isn't something I've heard any public official admit yet - is because a sand boil, according to usgs.gov, is symptomatic of earthquakes. The only logical reason to willingly destroy a levee, ruin farms, and risk dangerous flooding for everyone downriver, is because someone knows something we don't - perhaps that the sand boils are indicating great tectonic pressure and they're trying to stave off an Earthquake on the New Madrid Fault (which is already overdue to blow, some say.)
But will a giant explosion at this site prevent an earthquake - or cause one?