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Record floods breach Arkansas levee, overtop two in Missouri

June 2,2019

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) – Relentless flooding in the central United States (US) on Friday inundated communities and damaged or spilled over levees on three major rivers in two states, and authorities discovered the body of a drowning victim at a Missouri lake.

The fast-flowing Arkansas River smashed a 40-foot hole in a levee in rural western Arkansas, causing water to spill into a nearby community. In northeast Missouri, a levee was overtopped on the Mississippi River, and another levee was topped on the Missouri River in the central part of the state.

The flooding has been building for days because of heavy rainfall upstream. In Arkansas, officials were warning of more potential problems on an already strained levee system.

“These levees were not built to sustain this high a flow for this long, and we are seeing problems and there more than likely will be more,” said spokeswoman for the US Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District Laurie Driver.

In eastern Missouri, the state Highway Patrol’s Water Division reported that the body of 57-year-old Lane Panasuk, of Butte, Montana, was recovered on Thursday evening from Harry S Truman Lake in Henry County, but the patrol said it did not know why he was in the water. The US Army Corps of Engineers had warned visitors about high water levels that had closed most of the campgrounds around the lake and a road over its dam.

In Arkansas, the levee breached at Dardanelle, about 60 miles northwest of Little Rock. Yell County officials had anticipated the breach and urged residents in the nearby Holla Bend area to evacuate on Thursday.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said crews went door to door to recommend evacuation for about 160 homes.

Yell County Emergency Manager Jeff Gilkey told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that rapid currents from the river ripped a 40-foot section from the levee. Aerial video posted by the sheriff’s office on Friday showed water pouring through the hole.

“There was nothing we could do to stop it,” Gilkey said. National Weather Service data showed a dip in the water level at Dardanelle, likely due to the breach. A flash flood warning was issued on Friday for the area, and forecasters said residents should be prepared for rapidly rising water. Local officials said they were uncertain where the water would end up.

“Water is going to do what it wants to do,” Yell County Judge Mark Thone told reporters at a news conference. “We’re just trying to head this off.”

source:https://borneobulletin.com.bn/record-floods-breach-arkansas-levee-overtop-two-in-missouri/

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