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Southern Illinois Town Worried About Failing Levy

GRAND TOWER, Ill. (AP) - Even as the Mississippi River retreats from its latest spring flooding, a southern Illinois town is worrying about an earthen levee that has started to fail.

Grand Tower Mayor Michael Ellet says the Mississippi River levee near the 600-resident Jackson County town has developed a 19-foot hole.   Several large sinkholes blamed on the collapse of a drainage pipe also can be seen on the barrier.   Ellet says the town isn't in jeopardy right now, but repairing the levee before any subsequent rise in the river could cost $1 million.

The Army Corp of Engineers has been advising Grand Tower on the issue.  WSIL-TV reports that the levee was given an unsatisfactory rating in mid-2011, making it ineligible for federal funds.

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