Amid a spate of natural disasters, the latest crisis on the Mississippi has reminded Americans that the river is not merely a Twain-era historical footnote, but a vital instrument of modern commerce and a powerful force in draining, nourishing – and sometimes flooding – a large swath of the US.
On Monday evening, the Army Corps of Engineers will flood farms in southern Missouri to save river towns, after a legal challenge by the Missouri attorney general failed Sunday.
A judge on Friday gave the go-ahead to the US Army Corps of Engineers to blow an opening into a Missouri levee. Advocates say it's the best way to prevent worse flooding downriver, but residents could be affected.
On the second stop of Obama's Asia trip, the president will meet with the 10 ASEAN leaders in a region that welcomes the US presence as a counterbalance to China.