AP NEWS

The Latest: Flood levels reached record in 3 towns

March 22, 2019
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The cab of a pickup truck peeks out of floodwaters Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Hamburg, Iowa. As some communities along the Missouri River start to shift their focus to flood recovery after a late-winter storm, residents in two Iowa cities are still in crisis mode because their treatment plants have shut down and they lack fresh water. (Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Midwest (all times local):

4 p.m.

This year’s round of Midwestern flooding is the worst ever at three locations in Nebraska.

National Weather Service hydrologist Kevin Low said during a conference call Friday that the Missouri River reached record levels at Plattsmouth, Nebraska City and Brownville. It crested just short of a record at several other places, including St. Joseph, Missouri, where the river reached 32.02 feet (9.76 meters) on Friday, inches short of the record of 32.07 feet (9.77 meters) set during the historic 1993 flood.

Crests are still coming further south and east on the Missouri River, but flooding in Kansas City and other points in Missouri isn’t expected to be nearly as severe.

Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say it is too early to begin assessing total damage from the flood. While the crests in Nebraska, southwestern Iowa and northwestern Missouri have largely passed, water will remain high for several days.

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1:30 p.m.

Authorities are evacuating a low-lying area of St. Joseph, Missouri, as the Missouri River crests at near-record levels.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jake Angle says the evacuation began late Friday morning in the city’s Lake Contrary area. The river is cresting in the city at levels that are less than 1 foot (0.3 meters) away from those reached during historic 1993 flooding. More than 100 people are sandbagging to shore up the levee that protects the Missouri Air National Guard and Rosencrans Airport.

Across the river, about 1,200 residents of the Kansas town of Elwood were urged to leave.

Kansas City Power & Light says that because of the flooding, crews have shut off power to some customers in five communities, including St. Joseph, which has a population of about 75,000.

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11 a.m.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says recent flooding in the state has caused an estimated $1.6 billion in damage.

Reynolds sent a letter asking President Donald Trump to quickly issue a disaster declaration for 57 counties in Iowa that have been severely impacted by flooding, including along the Missouri River.

Ongoing flooding along the river has damaged thousands of homes and inundated agricultural land in several Midwestern states.

Reynolds says Iowa will need the additional federal recovery assistance to help with damage and losses related to agriculture, businesses, homes and levees.

The damage estimates indicate flooding that began last week has caused $417 million in damage to homes with minor damage and $64 million to homes with major damage.

Businesses suffered $300 million in damage, while agriculture damage is estimated at $214 million. Additional damage is to levees.

Flooding in Nebraska has caused an estimated $1.4 billion in damage. The state received Trump’s federal disaster assistance approval on Thursday.

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10:25 a.m.

More towns are evacuating as the flooded Missouri River seeps over and through busted levees.

The National Weather Service says the river is expected to crest Friday at levels just short of those reached during historic 1993 flooding in Atchison, Kansas, and St. Joseph, Missouri.

About 1,200 residents of the Kansas town of Elwood were urged to leave, and the governor eased restrictions on large vehicles carrying relief supplies. Across the river, parts of an industrial area in St. Joseph were inundated with water.

But no major flooding is forecast downstream in Kansas City.

The Missouri River swelled following heavy rains and snowmelt this month. The flooding had been blamed for three deaths, damaged thousands of homes in Nebraska,Iowa and Missouri, and taken a heavy toll on agriculture.