Rains in Mo. contribute to scattered flooding

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Drenching rains continued to cause flooding problems in parts of Missouri on Wednesday, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had to increase the amount of water released from the man-made Mark Twain Lake.

Officials reported that some homes below the lake near the Salt River have flooded. They don't have an exact count on how many houses took on water, but Ralls County Sheriff John Forney estimated that residents of about 30 low-lying homes in the county were still staying elsewhere due to flooding concerns.

The corps increased its water release rate from Clarence Cannon Dam to 50,000 cubic feet per second and again cautioned the water release could increase even more.

"Mark Twain Lake is currently experiencing record elevation levels as a result of above normal rainfalls throughout the spring and summer. Recent heavy rainfalls within the watershed have resulted in increased lake elevations," the corps said in a written statement.

Elsewhere, as much as 8.5 inches of rain was reported overnight in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan., The Kansas City Star reported on its Web site.

The rains brought several area streams above flood stage, but most were back in their banks by mid-Wednesday morning. Emergency responders in the region reported having to rescue a few drivers from high water.

The heavy rains also have driven the Missouri River to at or near flood stage through much of the central and eastern portions of the state. Flooding along the Missouri was minor, threatening only river bottom and agriculture land.

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