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Caruthersville Braces for Record Flooding

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CARUTHERSVILLE, MO - MAY 04:  Missouri National Guardsmen help to re-enforce a levee May 4, 2011 in Caruthersville, Missouri. Heavy rains have left the ground saturated, rivers swollen, and has caused widespread flooding in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas.  (Getty/Scott Olson)

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO – MAY 04: Missouri National Guardsmen help to re-enforce a levee May 4, 2011 in Caruthersville, Missouri. Heavy rains have left the ground saturated, rivers swollen, and has caused widespread flooding in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas. (Getty/Scott Olson)

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Missouri Bootheel town of Caruthersville is already dealing with record flooding, and the Mississippi River is expected to rise another 3 feet before cresting on Sunday.

The river topped 46 feet on Wednesday, besting the previous record set in 1937. It is expected to reach 49.5 feet on Sunday at Caruthersville, a community of about 6,700 residents.

That crest would creep within a half-foot of the top of the floodwall. Volunteers and the Missouri National Guard have constructed a secondary sandbag levee that stands 3 feet high about 30 feet behind the wall to catch any overflow and hopefully protect the downtown business district.

Flooding also remains a concern in areas near two southeast Missouri lakes, Clearwater and Wappapello. Water continues to pour from spillways at both lakes.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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