The town of Winfield, Missouri has been evacuated after a levee holding back the Mississippi River failed. Despite a huge effort by residents, in the end, the river won the battle and roared through a 20 foot wide breech.
Floodwaters surging down the Mississippi River broke through an earthen levee near the eastern Missouri town of Winfield yesterday, overwhelming a massive sandbagging effort and forcing die-hard residents to evacuate their homes.
The Pin Oak agricultural levee gave way shortly before 5:30 a.m. Central time, the latest of dozens of such structures to be breached or overtopped by floodwaters that have poured into the Mississippi after heavy rains in May and June. Officials said muskrat burrows weakened the levee, contributing to the breach.
The National Weather Service subsequently issued a flash-flood warning for eastern Lincoln County, Mo., saying that “water is expected to ultimately inundate the eastern portion of the town of Winfield.” The flooding threatened to swamp about 100 homes and 3,000 acres of farmland.
It may not be over yet for people downriver, either. More water – and other stuff – is heading their way. The Midwest was pounded again by massive storms, including one that wreaked havoc on Omaha, Nebraska. The storm disrupted Olympic swim trials and dropped baseball-sized hail in the city.
OMAHA — Severe storms with strong winds swept through the Plains on Friday, forcing swimmers practicing for U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha to flee pools and run for cover, killing two people in Iowa, and knocking out power to thousands.
Officials at the Qwest Center near downtown Omaha closed the building to examine it after superstar swimmer Michael Phelps and hundreds of other athletes were herded into hallways because of a tornado warning.
Water poured into the building, down arena steps and onto the deck of the competition pool during the storm. The storm’s winds may have reached 100 mph in some areas, said meteorologist Bryon Miller……
….The Missouri River Wastewater Treatment Plant, which serves the Omaha area, lost power, said Bryan Cook, duty officer for Nebraska Emergency Management.
Untreated wastewater was being discharged into the Missouri River, said Joe Gudenrath, spokesman for Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey. City officials told people to avoid wading or swimming in the water in the stretch of the river that passes by Omaha, and several miles downstream.
Very ugly storms lashed many areas of the Midwest yesterday. At times most of Illinois and a large part of Wisconsin were pretty much all red on the radar.