Water has surrounded the Mt. Calvary Powerhouse Church in Poplar Bluff, Mo. on April 26, 2011. A levee protecting the town from major flooding breached today and authorities are planning to evacuate about seven thousand residents.
The Black River is receding at Poplar Bluff, Mo., and some 1,000 evacuees are now allowed to go home.
Officials in the southeast Missouri community of 17,000 residents on Thursday lifted a mandatory evacuation order for a large section of town, where river water has been pouring over the top of the levee.
Residents in the impacted area can return home whenever they choose.
Many will find a mess left behind by the murky water. Officials don't yet know how many homes were damaged in Poplar Bluff and in a rural area of Butler County also protected by the levee.
The National Weather Service said Thursday that after a crest of 21.4 feet on Tuesday, the Black River at Poplar Bluff was down to 19.1 feet.
Updated 11:14 a.m. April 27:
Via the Associated Press:
The Army Corps of Engineers says it will wait until this weekend to decide whether to intentionally break a southeastern Missouri levee along the Mississippi River.
The Corps has said it may have to blow holes in the Birds Point levee to ease rising waters near the Illinois town of Cairo which sits near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
Missouri has sued (see 12:58 update) to block the effort because it would swamp farmland. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
But Corps spokesman Bob Anderson tells The Associated Press that even if a judge gives the go-ahead, the agency will wait until it gets a better forecast of the river crests to see if the breach is necessary. That decision isn't likely to come until at least this weekend.
Updated 5:06 p.m. April 26:
Via the Associated Press:
Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is defending the idea of intentionally breaching a Missouri levee to reduce flooding in Cairo.
Missouri officials object to the plan, saying it would endanger 130,000 acres of prime farmland.
But Simon told The Associated Press on Tuesday that farmers will be compensated for their losses and will be able to use the land next year. On the other hand, flooding could devastate the poor town of Cairo.
She noted an Illinois levee was intentionally breached during 1993 flooding.
Simon also says the Army Corps of Engineers would not break the Birds Point levee until water had already topped the levee.
The Corps of Engineers says it will put off a decision until at least Wednesday.
Updated 4:20 p.m. April 26:
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says she has concerns about the intentional breaching of the levee at Birds Point (via a press release):
“While emergency responders and volunteers work to save lives and protect property as best they can, the Army Corps of Engineers are working to find a solution to alleviate the stress from our levees. I have grave concerns about the plan to intentionally breach Bird’s Point Levee that is being considered. In the effort to prevent more damage, we may do additional significant harm to the agricultural economy of the region that will last well after the flood waters recede.”
The release says McCaskill has already communicated her concerns with the Army Corps of Engineers' leadership.
Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation to gradually repeal a tax on some Missouri businesses.
The bill reduces Missouri's franchise tax rate over the next several years before repealing it altogether for the 2016 tax year. Nixon signed the measure Tuesday in Kansas City at Boulevard Brewing Co. He said repealing the measure will provide an incentive for companies to move to Missouri.
The state's franchise tax was levied in 1917 and applies to company assets such as buildings and inventory.
Credit (via Flickr/The National Guard/M. Queiser/Missouri National Guard)
A Missouri National Guard member stages vehicles at the Cape Girardeau armory in preparation for possible use in state emergency duty. More than 200 Missouri Guard members were activated in anticipation of possible flooding in the southern portion of Mo.
Former Missouri Republican Party Chairwoman Ann Wagner has taken a step toward a run for Congress.
Wagner said Tuesday that she has set up an exploratory committee for a potential campaign in the 2nd Congressional District in suburban St. Louis. Wagner says her move is based on the likelihood that the 2nd District will be an open seat. The incumbent, Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, has been considering a challenge to Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Workers board up windows at the main terminal of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport on Sunday, two days after a devastating tornado severely damaged the terminal and Concourse C, which remains closed.
Perpetual Chaos team members Peter Prombo Cates, Josh Kish, coach Frank Dressel, and team members Liz Arnold and Chirag Doshi (left to right) will compete with their robot in the FIRST Robotics Championship this week.
Home-schoolers Camryn Vrbka (left, from Old Monroe, Mo.) and siblings Elizabeth and Bryan Stearns (from St. Peters, Mo.) are members of the FIRST Robotics team the Channel Cats, which won the St. Louis Regional Chairman’s Award.
Teams of student-built, remote-control robots will take to the field at the Edward Jones Dome. Organizers hope the competition will draw more than 20,000 spectators and generate at least $18 million in local spending.
After six months of delays, and just days before the second anniversary of the crime, testimony began this morning in the triple murder trial of Christopher Coleman.
Coleman is charged with strangling his wife Sheri and their two young sons early on the morning of May 5, 2009, allegedly so he could marry his mistress - a high school friend of Sheri's - without running afoul of his employer's no-divorce policy. Coleman was the chief of security for Joyce Meyer Ministries at the time of the murders.
Coleman has pleaded not guilty to the murders, and remains jailed in Monroe County without bond. Prosecutor Kris Reitz is seeking the death penalty.
In an opening statement about 30 minutes, Reitz promised a comprehensive case involving nearly 40 witnesses. "This case is too important to leave anything out," he said, speaking directly to the jury of 10 women and two men. (Four alternates are all male.) "When all the evidence is in, I will ask you to find Chris Coleman guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."