One year later: Cairo mayor reflects on Flood 2011
CAIRO, Ill. — Cairo Mayor Tyrone Coleman is pleased with the way his town is coping after floodwaters caused a citywide evacuation last May.
"It's been very complex, if you will, but things have progressed right along," he said.
The waters never made it over the flood wall because city workers spent much of their time trying to keep it out.
He said there was some concern about the flood wall holding up. In fact, some water did trickle in under the wall and it created concerns. Along with several sinkholes, six sand boils popped up through town.
The Army Corps of Engineers built a barrier around the wall to keep it from bursting.
Mayor Coleman is waiting on nearly $3 million from the state to help make improvements to the city's infrastructure. He expects to complete most city repairs by the end of the year.
"We've submitted a request for funding to help improve our pumps and motors and the governor came through," he said.
Coleman, who took office the night the Army Corps blew a portion of the Birds Point Levee, said the lives and land debate that made headlines was unmerited.
"I did take it personally but at the same time, that wasn't my focus," Coleman said.
Instead, he's moving forward and focused on making his town "The Gateway to the South".