Flooding Threatens Levee at Poplar Bluff

JIM SALTER, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Emergency crews in southeast Missouri were monitoring a levee at Poplar Bluff Wednesday after torrential rains caused significant flooding in farmland along the Black River.

Butler County emergency management director Robbie Myers said one levee breached Tuesday in a rural area near Poplar Bluff, swamping hundreds of acres of farmland but causing only limited damage to structures. Three people were rescued from their homes. No injuries were reported.

Water was also spilling over another levee that extends from Poplar Bluff to an area of Butler County outside the town of about 17,000 residents. Myers said that levee was stressed but holding its own.

“If it broke in a significant way, we’d have residential areas in the county and the city of Poplar Bluff that would have to be evacuated,” Myers said. He estimated that about 100 people would have to be put in shelters if evacuations become necessary.

Much of Butler County received 7-inches of rain over the weekend and Monday, with some reports of up to 11 inches. Thunderstorms are in the forecast again for Friday and Saturday.

The Black River rose to 4-feet above flood stage Tuesday, but by Wednesday was dropping sharply. It is expected to be back below flood stage by Thursday. Other smaller rivers in southeast Missouri rose above their banks, too, but all were dropping quickly.

In neighboring Wayne County, a creek that runs through Waynesville flooded over the weekend. Residents on Wednesday were still cleaning up after the creek water got into some homes, Wayne County emergency management director Kent Bowman said.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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