Cairo, IL

By Johnathan Crawford


First published on the MAKE website in 2011.

Initially emboldened by its position between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, decades of over-flowing banks have left the city center of this Illinois river town virtually abandoned and residents, surrounding communities, and the Army Core of Engineers wondering what to allow to flood and what to save. Recently, MAKE Creative Director Johnathan Crawford photographed Cairo, IL. Click on the images to view the complete set.

“The rain-swollen Mississippi River crested to an all-time high last week as it surged past Cairo, Ill., exceeding the 1937 record by 2 feet. Government engineers were left with two choices: Let Cairo flood or explode a levee to save the town. They blew up the levee. But while Cairo was saved, other communities may not be so lucky.” from The New York Times, May 7, 2011






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