(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Jay Woods)

Another Levee Breach in Northwestern Mo.

A new levee breach in northwestern Missouri threatens to close yet another section of Interstate 29.

(Screen capture via YouTube/TeamSaintLouis)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will release even more water from the Gavins Point Dam this week. But in spite of these record high flows on the Missouri River, the Corps does not expect major flooding in the St. Louis area this summer.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

As volunteers and residents in Holt and Atchison counties in northwest Missouri continue sandbagging to keep the rising Missouri River at bay, Sen. Claire McCaskill is looking for answers from the Army Corps of Engineers.

 McCaskill says she feels the frustration and anger of residents living in the small communities that have been ordered to evacuate, and wants the Army Corps of Engineers to explain the motivating factor for releasing water from reservoirs upriver when they did.

(Photo courtesy Atchison County Emergency Management)

The state of Missouri is poised to help some of the towns along the Missouri River who may be running out of sand for sandbags.

Governor Jay Nixon is ordering the State Emergency Management Agency to help those fighting flooding along the Missouri River to obtain more sand.  At Nixon's direction, SEMA has identified additional suppliers that could provide sand if local supplies are exhausted or running low.

(National Weather Service map/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Above: A National Weather Service map of projected flooding along the lower Missouri River, based on an average amount of summer rain, falling in a concentrated time period. This map assumes a river elevation of 37 feet at St. Charles, three feet below the 1993 record. Flood stage at St. Charles is 25 feet. Click here to see a larger version of the map.

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers says we can expect only minor flooding along the lower Missouri River if we get average rainfall through August - but, a stormy summer could change all that.

(Courtesy Atchison County 911/Emergency Management on Facebook)

A House panel has approved $1 billion in emergency money to repair levees and other flood control projects damaged by the devastating flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen said billions of dollars more will be needed once full Army Corps of Engineers estimates are in for repairing breached levees and other flood control projects damaged by this year's devastating storms and floods.

File photo

St. Charles County Executive Vetoes Smoking Ban Proposal

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann has blocked a countywide smoking ban proposal from going on the November 2012 ballot. Ehlmann said Tuesday that he vetoed the bill because it would have unfairly exempted casinos, cigar bars and certain hotel rooms.

The council in the St. Louis-area county voted 4-2 in favor of putting the ban on the ballot, with one opponent absent. It would take five votes to override the veto.

(Courtesy Atchison County 911/Emergency Management on Facebook)

Levee Break Sends Releases Torrents of Water

Crews are racing to build up a protective wall to keep floodwaters from reaching a small Iowa town after the swollen Missouri River punched a massive hole in the main levee that protects the community.

Two levees in northwest Missouri ruptured yesterday, sending water over rural farmland.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Updated 3:04 p.m. with changed breach size in Holt County.

Authorities in northwest Missouri say a Missouri River levee has breached in Holt County.

The Holt County breach is about 225-feet wide through a levee about five miles west of the town of Big Lake.

Holt County Clerk Kathy Kunkel said the breach is pushing water onto area agricultural land, and there are no current plans to fill the breach because it would not be safe.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs)

Updated at 2:07 p.m. with more details - new version of story from Associated Press.

Updated at 12:09 p.m. - see photos of the levee breach on the Atchison County 911/Emergency Management Facebook page.

The rising Missouri River has ruptured two levees in northwest Missouri, sending torrents of flood waters over
rural farmland toward the Iowa town of Hamburg and the Missouri state park and resort of Big Lake.


Minor Flooding Expected this Week in Mo.

Minor flooding is expected along the Mississippi River in Missouri this week. In St. Louis, the river is slightly above flood stage at 30.5- feet, and expected to stay that way for the next four days.

There is a flood warning in effect towns from Quincy, Mo., down to Chester, Ill. until Sunday. National Weather Service meteorologist Butch Dye says the flooding is expected to remain minor, barring significant rainfall.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/By Carlos J. Lazo)

Updated at 2:41 p.m. with state of Missouri's preparedness.

The fast-moving Missouri River is making for spectacular displays at the dams that control its flow (see video below).

Hundreds of sightseers are turning out at Oahe Dam near Pierre, Garrison Dam near Bismarck, N.D., and other locations to see the thundering torrents as the Army Corps of Engineers releases water downstream. All the water must be moved along to make room for heavy rains in western states and snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains.

(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers video screen grab)

For the first time in more than five weeks, the Mississippi River has dropped low enough to stop flowing through a gap in a blown-up levee in southeast Missouri.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tells The Associated Press that the river stopped flooding through the Birds Point levee Thursday.

It had been flowing through the gap since the corps blew a hole in the levee on May 2 to relieve flooding pressure on nearby Cairo, Ill.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reporting a third partial breach in a Missouri River levee in Atchison County, Mo.

The corps says in a news release that the partial breach caused minimal damage because material from adjacent slopes filled in most of the opening. Workers were able to direct the flow away from the repaired areas of the levee.

Thursday's partial breach occurred about 80 feet north of two previous breaches near Hamburg, Iowa.

Rising water levels on the Missouri River are expected to swamp hundreds of thousands of acres of crops and halt barge traffic. 

The threat of decreased crop acreage in the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri is driving prices for corn and soybeans on Wednesday.

Ron Plain is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri.  He says flooding along the Missouri River could be devastating for bottomland farmers. 

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill says she and her colleagues will take a close look at the way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is managing the Missouri River at the end of the flooding season.

Rising waters have already forced evacuations in the Dakotas and Iowa. The floods are due partly to the release of water from huge reservoirs located near the headwaters of the river.

McCaskill says every year, there are questions about the Corps' decision. But overall, she says the agency has done the right things this year.

The Missouri National Guard has been called up by Gov. Jay Nixon to assist local police with security after a grand jury decision is announced in the Michael Brown case. Typically, Guard troopers are called in to respond to emergencies, like natural disas
(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/By Carlos J. Lazo)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has directed the National Guard to coordinate efforts against flooding along the Missouri River and its tributaries.

Nixon issued an executive order Wednesday allowing the Missouri National Guard to work with local police and emergency management agencies to ensure that people's homes and property are protected.

Busch Stadium
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

Cardinals, Royals to team up for series to benefit Joplin recovery

The St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals will be teaming up to help raise money for tornado recovery efforts in Joplin, Mo. Missouri's two Major League Baseball teams are to meet for an interleague series June 17-19 in St. Louis.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A newly created House committee will examine whether a special legislative session is needed to assist in the recovery from a deadly tornado in Joplin and flooding in southeastern Missouri.

The House Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery was to make its recommendation by the end of July. The committee also was tasked with examining long-term recovery strategies and ways for Missouri to be better prepared for future natural disasters.

A report with those findings was to be submitted by the end of the year.

(via Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Carlos J. Lazo)

Mo. Republican Roy Blunt says he's carefully watching a wave of water that will make its way down the Missouri River over the next few days and is already forcing evacuations in Iowa.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/By Carlos J. Lazo)

Cities and towns along the Missouri River should begin preparing for major flooding in the next few weeks, according to federal officials.

The high water levels on the Missouri in the upper Great Plains are being blamed on a near-year’s worth of rainfall in a few week’s time -- and 140 percent more snowfall in the areas of the Rocky Mountains adjacent to the Missouri River basin.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The construction plan for a temporary levee at Birds Point got a gubernatorial boost today.

Beginning on May 2, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the levee at Birds Point on to relieve pressure on a strained Mississippi River system. The breech covered about 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland with water.

Flickr/SDNG photo by OC Chad Carlson

Second Breach on Missouri River Reported

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported the first breach on the levee near the Missouri-Iowa border yesterday. The second breach, which is about 10 feet wide, was reported this morning.

The corps says the Iowa National Guard has been dropping thousands of pounds of large sandbags to help fill the breaches, but the damaged areas are expected to fully breach as water levels rise.

Flickr/(SDNG photo by OC Chad Carlson)

Flooding in Mo. Imminent According to Gov. Nixon

Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri is gearing up for imminent and "unprecedented" flooding along the Missouri River.

Nixon said Thursday in St. Joseph that Missourians will face flooding soon along the Missouri River because of rising water levels in the river basin in the northern Plains. He says people with property and businesses in the floodplain should prepare for "unprecedented high water levels."

(via Wikimedia Commons/DEMIS Mapserver/Shannon 1)

Reporting from KXCV's Kirk Wayman was used in this report.

The Missouri National Guard is now involved in flood preparations along the Missouri River, which is expected to overflow levees at points across the state for at least the next month.

The Army Corps of Engineers has scheduled a series of releases in South Dakota starting this  week that will bring water flows into the Missouri River up to twice the amount of previous releases.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Mo. Officials Preparing for More Flooding

Mother Nature is challenging Missourians again. With flooding likely along the Missouri River, Gov. Jay Nixon and other officials are heading to St. Joseph today to discuss preparations.

Seasonal flooding along the Missouri is being worsened this year as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases historic amounts of water from upstream dams in the Dakotas. Officials in northwestern Missouri's Atchison and Holt counties have already put residents in flood-prone areas on alert to evacuate as needed.

(via Flickr/clip works)

This week’s heavy rainfall has increased the potential for isolated floods in portions of the state, although no major flooding is expected. 

Right now, a flood warning is in effect for the Meramec River in St. Louis County, which could lead to some local street flooding. 

John Campbell, operations chief for the State Emergency Management Agency explains why, and where, the flooding could occur.

(via Birds Point New Madrid Floodway Joint Information Center facebook page/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking for possible water contamination in Southeastern Missouri, in the area affected by the Birds Point levee breach.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blew up a Mississippi River levee at Birds Point on May 2 to protect upstream communities like Cairo, Ill.

The levee breach flooded 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland, including a confined animal feeding operation.

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri State Treasurer is making low-interest loans available to over 40 counties trying to rebound from a string of weather-related disasters.

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, who was in the St. Louis region Tuesday, says the loans will help homeowners and businesses qualify for loans in less than 24 hours.

Zweifel also says the new program will cut red tape and help qualified borrowers receive low-interest assistance loans in less than 24 hours.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

President Obama has issued a disaster declaration for portions of Missouri affected by recent storms, tornadoes and flooding.

The disaster declaration makes federal funding available to affected individuals in St. Louis, Butler, Mississippi, New Madrid and Taney counties, according to a White House press release. Funding is also available for State and eligible local governments, along with certain private non-profit organizations.