Black River to be two feet over flood stage

Saturday, May 18, 2002

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Heavy rain that came down early Friday morning over a saturated Wayne County is rapidly heading towards the St. Francis River and is causing more flooding. It is predicted to push Wappapello Lake near, and perhaps over, its emergency spillway.

The Black River at Poplar Bluff is predicted to crest at 18 feet, two feet over flood stage, at 1 p.m. today due to water being released by Clearwater Lake, according to information provided by the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky.

The Black River was at 8.35 feet at 9 Friday morning.

Clearwater Lake will be releasing water from the lake creating a second crest Tuesday afternoon at 17.5 feet.

Based on rainfall up until 6 Friday morning, the Weather Service was predicting Wappapello Lake to crest at 393.1, a crest of 394.74 feet will put it over the emergency spillway by late today, said Doug Nichols, park ranger with the Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Wappapello.

Near 1945 levels

If the lake does crest at 393.1 feet, it will be the highest level the lake has reached since 1945 when it crested at 399 feet. The lake opened in 1941. Nichols said the lake level was 388.53 feet Friday morning.

According to Ryan Presley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Paducah, up to four inches of rain fell on northern Wayne County Friday and two inches fell on southern Wayne County.

The St. Francis River at Fisk was at 19.8 feet Friday. Flood stage is 20 feet, and the river was predicted to crest at 21 feet by evening, causing minor flooding, said meteorologist Jim Packett of the National Weather Service.

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