flooding

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.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Following the severe flooding and storms in Missouri this spring, Gov. Jay Nixon has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency to begin their assessments of damage in 56 Missouri counties.

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

Updated 1 p.m. with news of river closure to traffic.

The Missouri National Guard and Missouri State Highway Patrol have performed countless water rescues during the flood of 2011. But late Thursday and early Friday, many of the soldiers and officers found themselves in need of rescue.

(Jeff Williams/WSIU)

Updated with Gov. Nixon's request for a disaster declaration.

The decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to blast the levee at Birds Point appears to have brought some relief to Cairo, Ill., but the possibility of record crests continues all along the Mississippi River.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says that while she sympathizes with southeast Missouri farmers whose land has been swamped by the Birds Point levee breach, a lawsuit filed on their behalf against the federal government will be difficult to win.

The lawsuit claims the government violated the farmers' rights by taking their land without adequate compensation.

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

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing to blow holes into agricultural levees to relieve rising floodwater on the town of Cairo, Ill. (See video footage of today's second blast below).

However, sparing Cairo came at the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars of Missouri crops.

Ed Marshall farms about 8,000 acres in Mississippi County in southeast Missouri.  At this time of year he normally looks out on miles of corn and wheat, but right now, his view is different.

Updated 1:23 p.m. May 3 with information about lawsuit:

Via the Associated Press:

A group of 25 southeast Missouri farmers is suing the federal government over its decision to blow a hole in a levee, causing their farmland and houses to flood.

Cape Girardeau attorney J. Michael Ponder filed the lawsuit Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detonated explosives on the Birds Point levee to ease pressure from the swelling Mississippi River.

(via Butler Miller)

Updated 10:30 p.m. May 2:

Around 10:15, the Army Corps of Engineers posted to its Facebook page that the first section of the levee had been breached.

Updated 5:58 p.m. May 2 with information that levee will be broken and additional information:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to detonate the Birds Point levee in southern Missouri tonight.

Officials announced the decision this evening.

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