People still rebuilding one year after Birds Point levee blasts - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

People still rebuilding one year after Birds Point levee blasts

Army Corps of Engineers did it to relieve pressure on the overall levee system. Army Corps of Engineers did it to relieve pressure on the overall levee system.
The area became a lake when the Army Corps of Engineers decided to activate the Birds Point plan. The area became a lake when the Army Corps of Engineers decided to activate the Birds Point plan.
Wanda and Milus Wallace continue to rebuild. Wanda and Milus Wallace continue to rebuild.
Howton just got her flood insurance money weeks ago. Howton just got her flood insurance money weeks ago.

NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

It is a totally different scene on the Birds Point Spillway now than it was one year ago. 

The area became a lake when the Army Corps of Engineers decided to activate the Birds Point plan. They did it to relieve pressure on the overall levee system. It was decision that saved homes, yet destroyed others. 

"We always knew it was something they could do," said Ellenann Howton. "My husband always said if they ever got the opportunity, they would to see if it worked like it was supposed to."

Howton lived at Wolf Island. She's called a hotel home ever since. She just got her flood insurance money weeks ago.

"So much red tape," said Howton.

She doesn't know where she will be in a year and calls the last year an emotional roller coaster.

"I always took in strays and rescued animals," said Howton. "A lot of people rushed in to help me house them but I lost two dogs in the flood. It was a whirlwind a nightmare. I remember not knowing where I would go. So many of my friends rolled in to help me pack stuff. I'm so thankful for them. Some things I don't know if they're lost in the flood water or if they're just packed somewhere."

Meanwhile Wanda and Milus Wallace continue to rebuild. They live near the center blast site. That was the area of the third explosion.

"We went to work immediately," said Milus. "Some of my workers worked with me for six months straight. Every day."

"We were going to move away but this is paradise here," said Wanda. "We've been here for forty years."

Milus explained they decided to build their new home 15 feet off the ground.

"If they blow it again and the flood gets me, Cape better watch out because that would be a bad one," said Milus. "You know it could happen. We always knew they could blow the levee. I've never been afraid of the water."

They hope to be in their new home by Christmas.

Meanwhile the Corps of Engineers hopes to have the levee back to its original 62.5 feet by the end of 2012.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserve

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