flooding

Morning News Round-up
9:32 am
Fri April 29, 2011

Morning Headlines: Friday, April 29, 2011

Mo. National Guardsman Terry Watson surveys an area of the Black River that has been sandbagged in Butler County, Mo. on April 26, 2011. A ruling about breaking a levee in another flooded area, Birds Point in Mississippi County, Mo., has been decided.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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

Fed. judge gives corps OK to break Missouri levee

A federal judge is giving the go-ahead to the Army Corps of Engineers' plan to intentionally break a Mississippi River levee in southeastern Missouri.

The break could happen as early as this weekend to spare a flood-threatened Illinois town just upriver. Friday's ruling in Cape Girardeau turns back Missouri's bid to block the corps from blasting a hole in the Birds Point levee in Mississippi County, just south of Cairo, Ill.

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Morning round-up
9:45 am
Thu April 28, 2011

Morning headlines: Thursday, April 28, 2011

mbers of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri National Guard survey a levy breach in Butler County, Missouri on April 26, 2011. The levee along the Black River has breached in several places, forcing authorities to evacuate residents.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Army Corps of Engineers to Decide on Levee Breach this Weekend

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will wait until this weekend to decide whether to punch a massive hole in a Mississippi County, Missouri levee to protect Cairo, Ill.

The mayor of the small city isn't waiting that long to take action.

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Morning round-up
9:25 am
Wed April 27, 2011

Morning headlines: Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Young boys attempt to push a car from flood waters in downtown Poplar Bluff, Missouri on April 26, 2011. A levee on the Black River protecting the area from major flooding has breached in several places, forcing authorities to evacuate residents.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Flooded Poplar Bluff Hit with More Rain

The southern Missouri town of Poplar Bluff endured another night of torrential rain, this time dropping another two inches of water onto already saturated ground.

 The Black River levee that protects the town's low-lying neighborhoods survived Tuesday night. The earthen wall was breached yesterday south of town, which flooded farmland, but released pressure within city limits.

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Developing: Spring Flooding
3:07 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Communities continue to battle flood conditions in Mo., Ill.

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.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 1:51 p.m. April 28:

Via the Associated Press:

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.

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Spring Flooding
12:50 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Flooding closes hundreds of roads in Missouri, Illinois

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.
(via Flickr/The National Guard/M. Queiser/Missouri National Guard)

The floods affecting southern and southeastern Missouri and towns along the Mississippi River have resulted in hundreds of closed roads in the state, along with neighboring areas in Illinois.

Updated 1:32 p.m. April 26:

The City of Fenton has announced that The River Road in Fenton, Mo. at the intersection of Yarnell Road and Larkin-Williams Road is now closed.

In Missouri:

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Morning round-up
8:56 am
Mon April 25, 2011

Morning headlines: Monday, April 25, 2011

Christopher Coleman is accused of killing his wife Sheri, and their two sons.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Opening Statements Begin Today in Christopher Coleman Trial

Area residents started to line-up early this morning outside the Monroe County courthouse to watch the start of the case. The crime took place nearly 2 years ago. Prosecutors allege that Coleman, who once handled security for the Joyce Meyer Ministries, killed his wife Sheri and their sons Garrett and Gavin to be with a mistress. That woman, Tara Lintz, has been ordered to testify and a deposition from Joyce Meyer will also be part of the prosecutor's case.

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Spring Flooding
3:39 pm
Fri April 22, 2011

Major flooding possible in region over next few days

Leoine K. Sullivan Street in St. Louis is forced to close several days a year due to flooding. Flood conditions are developing from Canton, Mo. all the way south of St. Louis.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Forecasters say major flooding is a possibility as the region braces for heavy rainfall over the next five days.

Mark Fuchs is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.

He says melting rain and ice from northern states combined with localized rainfall is creating flood conditions from near the Iowa state line in Canton, Mo. all the way south of St. Louis.

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Morning round-up
9:21 am
Fri April 22, 2011

Morning headlines: Friday, April 22, 2011

Vernon Collins
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

Two Inmates Escape from St. Louis Justice Center

St. Louis police continue to search for two jail inmates that escaped from the St. Louis Justice Center located at 200 S. Tucker Blvd this morning. Police say 34-year-old Vernon Collins and 33-year-old David White escaped shortly before 7 a.m. and are wearing white t-shirts and shorts and white tennis shoes.

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MSD lawsuit
3:05 pm
Tue April 19, 2011

Class-action suit over 2008 floods in U-City can go forward

View University City Flood Damage in a larger map

A Missouri appeals court has ruled that  a class-action lawsuit stemming from 2008 flash floods that killed two people and severely damaged more than 100 houses in University City can go forward.

The lawsuit alleges that the Metropolitan Sewer District's failure to maintain the River Des Peres  made it impossible for the system to handle what amounted to predictable heavy rain. The floods were the result of the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

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Spring Flooding
12:25 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Weather Service: Spring flooding likely along upper Mississippi River

The St. Louis office of the National Weather Service has released its Spring Flood Outlook. Hydrologist Mark Fuchs says the potential for spring flooding is much higher than usual, especially along the Mississippi River, but Fuchs says the data doesn't predict significant flooding in the St. Louis area.

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