Flood evacuations ordered in Poplar Bluff

Flood evacuations ordered in Poplar Bluff

Credit: AP

A handicapped parking space is covered by floodwater from the Mississippi river Friday, April 22, 2011, in Clarksville, Mo. The National Weather Service is calling for moderate flooding along much of the length of the Mississippi in Missouri, and some parts of the state could get up to 9 inches of rain before the middle of next week. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

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The Associated Press; video by CNN

Posted on April 25, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 25 at 11:47 PM

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) -- Several hundred residents were evacuated Monday in the southeast Missouri town of Poplar Bluff as a levee along the Black River was in danger of breaking.

Emergency management director Rick Sliger wasn't sure of the specific number of residents being moved out of harm's way. There were no reports of injuries.

A shelter was set up at Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff, a town with 17,000 residents about 150 miles southwest of St. Louis.

Police said they believe a "catastrophic failure" of the levee along Butler County Road 607 is imminent.

Meanwhile, Table Rock Dam in southwest Missouri was preparing to open its floodgates, after the lake rose almost 5 feet in the past 24 hours, lake manager Greg Oller told the Springfield News-Leader. The lake has received 10 inches of rain since Thursday, and more was on the way

Southern Missouri has been hit hard by heavy rain over the past several days, and more rain was falling Monday. The National Weather Service predicts rain through Wednesday in the region.

Flood and flash flood warnings have been issued throughout southern and eastern Missouri. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is keeping a close eye on several levees, especially south of St. Louis.

Major flooding is predicted at several spots along the Mississippi River below the confluence with the Missouri River. The flood level at Cape Girardeau is expected to get to 12 feet above flood stage later this week.

Army Corps of Engineers spokesman George Stringham said he was not aware of any Mississippi or Missouri River levees in the state that are in danger of being overtopped or broken.

One death has been blamed on flash flooding, a southwest Missouri man killed Saturday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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