Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Levee ruptures in Butler County

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KRCU) - Residents of rural Butler County, Missouri are fleeing to higher ground after a rupture on the Black River levee. The breakage occurred just south of the community of Poplar Bluff.

The levee failure is spilling floodwater across agricultural lands and farm houses in this rural southern Missouri County. Missouri National Guard troops and the Butler County Sheriff’s Department are evacuating all residents in the floodwater’s path.

Poplar Bluff deputy police chief Jeff Rolland says that rupture is easing tension on the fragile Black River levee that threatens the community. But he cautions that the town could still be in danger.

"That levee is so saturated with water that it is still very unstable. Any more torrential downpours could cause it issues also," Rolland said.

Residents in low-laying neighborhoods were evacuated yesterday. More severe thunderstorms are in the forecast.

The Missouri National Guard and the Butler County Sheriff’s Department have rescued 25 people in this rural agricultural area about 150 miles southwest of St. Louis.

At least 300 people are using a Red Cross shelter following a mandatory evacuation of Poplar Bluff’s low-lying neighborhoods.

Detective Scottie Phelps says the breach has temporarily improved conditions in the community.

"Here in town it’s not too bad," Phelps said. "There’s still some standing water but it’s not too bad. You can pretty much get around town. And like I said, that goes back to the levee break. Whenever that broke, it relieved a lot of the water here in town."

The National Weather Service is forecasting more rain for southern Missouri this evening, which would add additional pressure to the already fragile levee protecting Poplar Bluff from the river.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU


This is really alarming news, thanks for sharing.

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