Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another round of storms hits Poplar Bluff

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KRCU) - Residents of Poplar Bluff, Missouri hunkered down for another round of storms last night. An overnight storm dumped another two inches of rain on the saturated community, but the fragile levee protecting the town survived the downpour. 

The Black River in Poplar Bluff has risen to dangerously high levels which prompted a mandatory evacuation. The teetering levee breached just south of town, pouring floodwater through rural Butler County.

Lieutenant Brian Evans with Sheriff’s Department says that the Missouri National Guard has helped rescue over 150 people from the floodwaters. He describes the scene “surreal.”

“It’s the biggest lake I’ve ever seen, I guess. The bottom part of the county is all flat and it’s farmland. And it’s pretty much covered,” Evans said.

An estimated 7,000 people live in the flooded area. There have been no reported fatalities or major injuries.

At the Black River Coliseum, between 250 and 300 evacuees took cover from the storm.

Among them is Nallely Martinez, who bided her time with her family watching YouTube videos and checking up on Facebook. Like many of the flood victims, she lives in the evacuated zone and misses the comforts of home.

“Yeah, like my drier. We just bought a drier like a week ago. You know? Oh well, if something happens to it, I cannot do anything. At least we’re safe,” Martinez said.

The National Weather Service predicts one more day of heavy rain for Poplar Bluff.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU
Photo: Empty cots are scattered across the Black River Coliseum as flood evacuees line up for dinner. Photo by Matthew Clanahan. 


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