Rising St. Francis River could force evacuations

Monday, May 2, 2011

Emergency personnel were going door to door Sunday night into early this morning in areas along the St. Francis river south of Lake Wappapello, warning residents that water could soon force an evacuation.

Dale Moreland, public information officer with the Stoddard County Emergency Management Agency, said the Corps of Engineers notified county officials that water would likely start over an emergency berm erected on the lake spillway starting around 4 a.m.

Area fire departments and county sheriff's deputies were going door to door, telling people to be ready to leave quickly if water approaches their area, and to pay close attention to media reports to find out when to leave. Those living immediately below the dam would be contacted quickly by the Corps of Engineers when it was time to leave, Moreland said.

If the firefighters who are going door to door find no one home, they'll leave a notice, Moreland said. The area affected is along the St. Francois from the lake to Fisk in Butler County, including rural areas near Puxico and south to Powe.

A worst-case scenario, Moreland said, could effect the town of Dudley, which is farther away from the river and lake.

Moreland said the floodwaters would creep slowly, giving people time to leave their homes.

The water would likely take four to six hours to get from the dam to Fisk, he said.

Pertinent addresses:

Lake Wappapello, MO

Fisk, MO

Puxico, MO

Dudley, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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