Appraisals begin on flood buyout properties in Illinois
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill. -- Two years after Alexander County, Ill., applied for a federal grant to buy out about 135 flood-prone homes and businesses, appraisers have begun establishing what those structures were worth before the Mississippi River overflowed its banks and inundated them...
More rain, snow could lead to more flooding; river continues rise at Cape
GRAFTON, Ill. -- The Mississippi River started its slow decline at some problematic spots Monday, but the spring flood is far from over. The Mississippi and countless other Midwestern rivers still were significantly above flood stage, spurred by heavy rain last week. Levee breaks caused problems in Indiana, and floodwaters flirted with the Michigan State University campus...
Olive Branch to get buyout from 2011 flood
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill.--Almost two years after enduring the worst flooding in recent memory, residents of Olive Branch finally will be in a position to decide their own destinies now that a buyout grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been approved...
Mo. senator threatens block on EPA administrator
After months of putting pressure on federal agencies to move forward with the next step in the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway Project to no avail, Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt on Monday announced he is placing a hold on the nomination of the Environmental Protection Agency's next administrator...
Corps: Notices sent to floodway owners
The Memphis district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has mailed notices to individuals who reside in, operate and do business in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway that the U.S. government can flood the area within the floodway to reduce pressure on the regional flood-control system.within the floodway to reduce pressure on the regional flood-control system....
St. Johns Bayou basin trying to step out of New Madrid floodway shadows
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- When it rains within a 480-square-mile area in Southeast Missouri -- in towns such as Commerce, Charleston, Sikeston and East Prairie -- water trickles down a vast matrix of ditches and canals, through narrow flood gates at New Madrid and spills into the Mississippi River...
Army Corps: 2011 flood tested system like no flood ever before
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Mississippi River flooding of 2011 caused $2.8 billion in damage and tested the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' system of levees, reservoirs and floodways like never before, exposing vulnerabilities that need attention, a report released Monday said...
Senators renew demands for answers on St. Johns Bayou
Calling ongoing delays in the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project "outrageous," U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said Wednesday that he is "giving serious consideration" to blocking the appointment of a new Environmental Protection Agency administrator until progress is made...
Project to close gap in levee stalled amid bureaucracy
Despite pressure by lawmakers and local stakeholders to resume reviewing plans to close a gap in the Mississippi River levee, federal agencies are not ready to move forward. They cite the need for further coordination and study. The St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway Project -- to close the 1,500-foot gap in the levee and protect homes and farmland from periodic flooding -- dates back to the 1950s. ...
Two of three Birds Point levee crevasses rebuilt
Twenty months after the Birds Point levee was breached, two of the three crevasses created have been restored to the levee's original height. When floodwaters at Cairo, Ill., reached 61 feet and were still rising in May 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detonated explosives at three points along the levee, following an emergency plan created after the flood of 1927. ...
McCaskill seeks action on Mo. levee project
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill is joining two Republican colleagues in calling for federal agencies to move ahead with plans to close a 1,500-foot gap in a southeast Missouri levee, a project long delayed over environmental concerns...
First phase of Birds Point levee restoration complete
The first phase of work to restore the Birds Point levee to its original height has been completed. Glen Bullington, a civil engineer technician with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on Friday said the second phase of building on the levee is about 75 percent complete. ...
Corps, tribes sign pact for remains found at Birds Point
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The remains of American Indian tribe members discovered in the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway in Missouri will be respectfully preserved under an agreement signed Tuesday. Leaders of the Quapaw Tribe and the Delaware Nation joined Col. ...
Tour de Shawnee brings out Olive Branch, Ill., riders, tourists
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill. -- Before long, the tiny Southern Illinois town of Olive Branch may not exist. Many residents are pursuing a federal buyout after Olive Branch was devastated by historic flooding in spring 2011. Until the day comes when it is no more, possibly the biggest draw in town is the Tour de Shawnee. ...
Flood projects progressing on both sides of Mississippi River
Progress is steadily being made with flood-recovery projects on both sides of the Mississippi River. Cairo, Ill., will be the beneficiary of a $7.8 million contract awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its flood-control projects, and officials in the Missouri counties of Mississippi and New Madrid are pleased with efforts to repair levees that were intentionally breached during last year's massive flooding...
Agriculture commission hears from farmers at Charleston meeting
Members of Missouri's Interim Commission on Agriculture Innovation and Economic Recovery listened intently Tuesday as Mississippi County farmers described how homes, churches and crops washed away after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the Birds Point levee last spring...
Farmers planted most of land flooded in 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Farmers this spring were able to plant all but a few thousand acres of the land deluged by last year's flooding along on the Missouri River and the intentional breaching of a Mississippi River levee in southeast Missouri, U.S. Department of Agriculture figures show...
Olive Branch relocation group waits for word on FEMA funds, not-for-profit status
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill. -- Residents who lost their homes during last year's historic flood are making progress toward relocating their community out of the Mississippi River's path. The Olive Branch Area Community Development Corp. met Tuesday with advisers from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale to discuss the group's next steps. ...
Olive Branch group to meet about relocation Tuesday
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill. -- The Olive Branch Area Community Development Corp. will meet at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Alexander County Highway Department office in Olive Branch. The organization formed following the 2011 flood. It is seeking not-for-profit status in order to apply for grants to help purchase land where residents of Olive Branch can rebuild their community and avoid regular flooding...
Birds Point-New Madrid levee repair contracts awarded
Restoration of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' flood risk management system is moving along quickly through the summer in Missouri and Kentucky. The corps awarded contracts Tuesday for repair of the lower crevasse in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway levee in New Madrid County, Mo., and the installation of 112 relief wells and associated drainage work in Fulton County, Ky...
Two Scott County levees accredited by FEMA
BENTON, Mo. -- Scott County officials have one less thing to worry about: the levee. Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said during the regular county Commission meeting that the county recently reviewed a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding the levee from Commerce, Mo., to Birds Point -- and it was good news...
Cairo expects to fare better in next flood
CAIRO, Ill. -- Alexander County is still recovering from last year's flooding, local government officials say, but when the water comes next time, they believe they'll fare much better. Major projects to reconstruct and reinforce levee and drainage systems throughout the county are ongoing, or will soon begin. ...
Corps of Engineers denies Mississippi County's damage claim
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Mississippi County will not receive money from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for damage caused by the activation of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway in May 2011. County Clerk Junior DeLay presented a letter from the corps' Tort Claims Division dated July 17 to county commissioners during their regular weekly meeting Thursday...
Corps: Levee contract to be awarded soon
A contract to begin rebuilding the lower crevasse in the Birds Point-New Madrid levee system should be awarded next week, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps released an update July 20 that said overall rebuilding efforts in the confluence area of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers are proceeding on time or are ahead of schedule, due in part to the weather...
Missouri disaster response committee starts work next week
A committee formed to assess the state's ongoing disaster recovery efforts will hold its first meeting next week. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau will lead the Interim Committee on Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery formed by state House Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville. ...
Corps confident levee fixed by end of year
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The Army Corps of Engineers now believes the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri will be fully restored by the end of the year, corps officials said Tuesday. The corps announced in May that it had awarded $20 million in contracts to repair the levee that was intentionally breached at the height of spring flooding in 2011, in part to help save the flood wall protecting nearby Cairo, Ill. ...
Corps of Engineers gives details on where flood recovery money will be spent
CAIRO, Ill. -- A breakdown of more than $100 million that will be spent for recovery projects in three states was announced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during a visit to Cairo on Thursday.
A year after floods, shippers face low Miss. River
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A year after the Mississippi River swelled to near-historic proportions and flooded farms and homes from Illinois to Louisiana, the level along the waterway's southern half is so low that cargo barges have run aground and their operators have been forced to lighten their loads...
Locals named to Missouri commission to study disaster recovery
Cape Girardeau native Lt. Gov Peter Kinder will lead a commission that includes Southeast Missouri lawmakers to study disaster response.
Protest overruled, work resumes on Birds Point levee
Work will resume on the Birds Point levee now that a protest to a construction bid has been deemed "without merit" by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Catholic Charities helping repair damage from 2011 flood
The storms that dumped 20 inches of rain in Cape Girardeau last April were more than Addie Marie Walker's roof could take. More than a year later, she was living in a house with a leaky roof, having been rejected by every agency she'd turned to for help...
Bid protest stops work on Birds Point levee
WYATT, Mo. -- Work has stopped on the frontline levee that protects the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway from the Mississippi River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a news release Tuesday that work had stopped after a letter dated June 12 was received protesting the bid for repairs...
Festival to help raise funds for disaster recovery on Saturday
On Saturday, the Southeast Missouri American Red Cross and Southeast Missouri Salvation Army chapters will hold a Family Fun Festival to benefit local victims of disasters...
Miller City, Ill., farmers work on rebuilding own levee
MILLER CITY, Ill. -- These farmers say they didn't have a choice. They couldn't wait for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair the Miller City levee after last spring's record-setting flood. They had crops to get planted and those crops needed protection...
Corps of Engineers awards $20M in contracts to fix Birds Point levee
ST. LOUIS -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday it has awarded $20 million worth of contracts to three firms to repair the Birds Point levee, which was intentionally breached last year to alleviate flooding on the Mississippi River...
Senators: Last year's Missouri River flooding a unifying moment
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Two U.S. senators who symbolize disagreements between upstream and downstream states over management of the Missouri River say last year's historic flooding was a unifying moment. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., toured dams and levees along the river Tuesday and Wednesday. ...
Olive Branch residents consider moving community to avoid flooding
A year after the worst flood longtime residents can remember, many are thinking of moving their community out of the river's path. A group of those whose homes were destroyed have organized to form the Olive Branch Area Community Development Corporation...
Some Allenville residents worried about potential railroad abandonment
The Jackson, Gordonville and Delta Railroad is planning to abandon a 13-mile section of unused tracks and some Allenville residents are worried they will be left without an emergency flood escape route once the railbed is removed. The section of railway between Gordonville and Delta has not been used since 1997 and is in a dangerous state of disrepair in some sections, according to company president Robert L. ...
Olive Branch residents to discuss plans for rebuilding
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill. -- Residents interested in rebuilding Olive Branch after last year's flood will meet today to discuss future plans. The meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Alexander County Highway Department, 26799 Highway 3 in Olive Branch...
Judge dismisses portion of floodway farmers lawsuit
A federal judge has tossed out a big portion of a class-action lawsuit brought by more than 140 Southeast Missouri farmers who are seeking millions from the U.S. government for damages caused by last year's intentional breaching of the Birds Point levee...
Nixon says more funds on the way for 2011 flood repairs
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon made a stop in Southeast Missouri bringing good news for city and county officials: Additional funds to repair damage from last year's floods are on the way. The state will provide nearly $1.5 million in additional assistance to help several Missouri towns and counties in repairing or replacing roads, bridges and other public infrastructure damaged or destroyed by the devastating floods of 2011. ...
Corps of Engineers prepares to renew construction at Birds Point
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began removing four vertical feet of temporary barriers along the top of two miles of the Birds Point levee on Thursday.
A year later, Gen. Walsh reflects on 'grave' decision to activate floodway
It was his call. Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh became a familiar figure in the days leading up to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' activation of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway. The soggy masses awaited word daily from the silver-haired two-star general who held the fate of communities in a half-dozen states in his hands. ...
Flood of 2011 anniversary: Flood's scars remain a year later
Randy Sutton had heard that the three-star general with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had officially made the decision. He had seen the Missouri National Guard trucks roll through, ordering everyone from their homes. And now, the Mississippi County farmer was along a dark rainy roadway with everyone else awaiting the blast...
Year later, Blunt critical of pace at Birds Point
ST. LOUIS -- A year after the intentional breach of the Birds Point levee in Southeast Missouri, Sen. Roy Blunt is criticizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its rebuilding pace.
Flood of 2011 anniversary: Some farmers still counting what flood cost them
Farmers feared the worst as water rushed over fields of winter wheat, filled silos storing their profits and engulfed the houses they called home. A year after the intentional breach of the Birds Point levee by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, fourth generation floodway farmer Eddie Marshall is still repairing the damage and counting what the breach cost him...
Flood of 2011 anniversary: Limbaugh: Corps had law on its side in levee breach
It is still the biggest case that has been heard in the new federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau. The corridors and courtrooms were filled April 28, 2011, with contingents from Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky arguing that steps should be taken to protect their land and livelihoods while, outside, record flooding threatened, inch by inch, to wipe out residents along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers...
Flood of 2011 anniversary: MoDOT engineer acted alone on Highway 60 berm; residents have filed lawsuit
MOREHOUSE, Mo. -- Ed Stinnett kept a close eye on the red marks he and other Morehouse residents spray-painted on buildings in late April last year. During the afternoon and into the late evening of April 27, they checked them every hour. They knew more water was coming, and they might have to get going. They might have to leave their homes and businesses behind, at least for a few days...
Flood of 2011 anniversary: Corps maintains Birds Point levee breach saved billions in damages
Reservoirs were full, the rivers kept swelling and the rain kept coming. The Ohio River set a record of 61.1 feet on the Cairo, Ill., gauge. It was still climbing. Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh, president of the Mississippi River Commission, had a decision to make on May 1, 2011...
2011 Flood: A year later, April 23
On this day, April 23 Cape river level: 35.3 feet Cape flood stage: 32 feet Cairo river level: 51 feet Cairo flood stage: 40 feet Rainfall: 3.10 inches Crest predictions along the Mississippi River and other waterways were on the rise. The crest at Cape Girardeau, originally set at just a few feet above flood stage, was revised to just short of 42 feet, nearly 10 feet above flood stage. The Way of the Cross was moved inside due to rainy weather...
Flood of 2011 anniversary: Levee breach day last year was preceded by weeks of wet weather
Editor's note: April 22, 2011, was the first day Southeast Missouri fell under a flood warning. What transpired in the following weeks marked one of the biggest flooding events of the past 100 years. This is the first in a series of stories about the flood of 2011....
Work to restore Mississippi County levee expected to begin in June
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- If things go as planned and the river doesn't rise, Mississippi County may see its levee restored to its original height. Presiding County Commissioner Carlin Bennett presented what sounded like good news about the frontline levee during the regular County Commission meeting Thursday...
Corps: More flood storage offers limited benefit
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to release another report examining last year's flooding along the Missouri River. The Corps will release a report Friday looking at how much free space it would have needed in reservoirs along the river to handle last year's deluge of water...
USDA commits more money to fixing drainage in floodway
WYATT, Mo. -- Mississippi County will receive another infusion of funding from the USDA's Emergency Watershed Protection Program to repair drainage ditches damaged after the Birds Point levee breach last year.
Labor Department sends more dollars to aid in Southeast Missouri flood cleanup
Counties ravaged by flooding last spring will receive additional funds from the U.S. Department of Labor to help continuing recovery efforts. Twenty-nine Missouri counties will receive a total of $16.5 million to create 2,200 temporary jobs to help with cleanup and rebuilding efforts as a result of flooding last April through June. These funds are a National Emergency Grant, which comes from the secretary of labor's discretionary fund...
Corps wants floodway farmers' lawsuit dismissed
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking to quash a class-action lawsuit brought by more than 140 Southeast Missouri farmers who are seeking millions in damages caused by last May's intentional breaching of the levee protecting the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway...
Public says to rebuild Birds Point levee quickly, close 1,500-foot gap
TIPTONVILLE, Tenn. -- The Mississippi River Commission was urged to fully restore the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway as quickly as possible, with several members of the public -- as well as U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson -- also asking for renewed efforts to close a 1,500-foot gap in the levee to provide additional protection from future flooding...
Corps to hire private firms to complete Birds Point levee restoration
With funding firmly in place, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is targeting mid-June to continue its efforts to restore the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway levee to what it was before three holes that totaled almost four miles long were blasted in it last May...
Southern Illinois to get $2.2 million for 2011 flood recovery
Southern Illinois will receive a $2,285,489 supplemental National Emergency Grant to fund continuing recovery efforts following storms and flooding that affected the region in April and May last year. The funds, from the U.S. Department of Labor, are being awarded to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to create additional temporary jobs for cleanup work and to help workers find permanent employment after their temporary jobs end. ...
Risk low for major flooding this spring, NOAA says
For the first time in four years, no region of the country is facing a high risk of major spring flooding, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "We're not forecasting a repeat of recent historic and prolonged flooding in the central and northern U.S., and that is a relief," said Laura Furgione, deputy director of NOAA's National Weather Service, in a news release Thursday...
Floodway ditches being dug out; farmers worry work may be too late
It's crunch time. With bright green wheat sprouts already blanketing much of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway, excavators sit on the banks of silted-in ditches. One scoop at a time they're digging out what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' breach of the Birds Point levee left behind in May...
Meetings on flood repair, preparedness set at Wappapello Lake
WAPPAPELLO, Mo. -- Public meetings have been scheduled at Wappapello Lake to discuss flood repair, flood preparedness, water control procedures and dam safety. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will meet with the public at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Bill Emerson Memorial Visitor Center to provide information and answer questions on water control procedures and Corps-funded recovery efforts following flood damage caused by extreme high water in spring 2011...
McCaskill grills Corps of Engineers nominee about Birds Point
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' intentional breaching of a levee in Southeast Missouri last year was front and center on Capitol Hill on Thursday, as U.S. Sen Claire McCaskill grilled the nominee looking to become the corps' next commander...
Levee group plans weekend meeting in Columbia
NEW MADRID, Mo. - The Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association is meeting this weekend in Columbia to talk about recovering from last year's heavy flooding. The association says speakers at Saturday's event will include Gov. Jay Nixon, Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill and U.S. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Vicky Hartzler, who will talk about legislative efforts to provide funding for repairs...
On 75th anniversary, flood of '37 draws parallels to, questions about last year's high water
"You can drown downtown, when the water is high It's been happening here, since I was a child There ain't nothing you can do to stop it Just hope for the best, and mop up the rest." -- "Get Down, River," by the Bottle Rockets...
Corps: Damage from 2011 floods could mean more danger in 2012
NEW ORLEANS -- Damage from last year's record spring floods could leave many people along the Mississippi River in even more danger this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday. It says it's assessing the damage to levees, structures and navigation channels, and will begin notifying affected communities in February...
Mississippi County road near levee may be closed
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Mississippi County Commissioners are looking into temporarily closing a road to keep motorists from getting stuck. Commissioners met Wednesday for their regular weekly meeting due to a scheduling conflict. During the meeting, Presiding Commissioner Carlin Bennett said commissioners need to take some action on County Road 520...
USDA announces $308M for disaster-stricken states
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is adding more than $300 million to the massive amount of financial assistance federal agencies have doled out in response to an unusually intense year of natural disasters, officials announced Wednesday...
USDA announces $308 million in aid to states; Missouri to receive about $49 million
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The nation's top agriculture official is expected to announce Wednesday more than $300 million in emergency assistance to 33 states and Puerto Rico to help them recover from an unusually intense year for natural disasters across the U.S...
Outreach workers still helping people affected by 2011 flooding
SIKESTON, Mo. -- Although a new year has begun, flood survivors continue to cope with grief and losses they suffered last year. "The water is gone, but the recovery takes time," said Phyllis Rowe, team leader for Show-Me Recovery, a crisis counseling program funded by a grant through the Federal Emergency Management System and the Department of Mental Health...
Happy Helpers Pantry volunteers keep people fed in Alexander County
TAMMS, Ill. -- The volunteer operators of Happy Helpers Pantry plan to use donations raised for last spring's flood victims to keep working toward a goal established nearly 30 years ago -- to provide as much free food as possible to local people in need...
Corps: Birds Point 'No. 1 priority' with new funds
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is getting $800 million in federal disaster relief funds to make repairs along the flood-ravaged Mississippi River, corps officials announced Thursday. And the corps called fixing the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway the "number one priority" with those dollars...
Panel: Corps not to blame for Missouri River flood
HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- An expert panel says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was not to blame for record Missouri River flooding this year, but that changes could help avoid a disastrous repeat. A report to be released Tuesday by the corps says that current manuals and procedures could be improved and updated to recognize the more recent weather extremes following "unprecedented levels of runoff that could not be predicted in advance."...
Corps wraps up work at Birds Point for winter
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- For more than seven months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has worked to undo some of the damage it caused in May when three holes were blasted in the Birds Point-New Madrid levee. With work coming to a halt this week until warmer weather returns next year, corps officials Thursday met with farmers and local officials to discuss what looks to be a winter of uncertainty...
Crop insurance rates skyrocket after spring, summer floods
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Midwestern farmers who saw their land swamped by summer flooding may be socked again with steep increases in their crop insurance premiums, the expensive result of the failure to fix broken levees before the winter snow and next spring's rains.
Mo. gets $5M disaster-recovery grant from FEMA
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri is getting more than $5 million from the federal government to help in the long-term recovery for people hit by tornadoes and flooding. The grant announced Wednesday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be available to help people hit by tornadoes in the Joplin and St. Louis areas, as well as flooding along the Mississippi River and in southern Missouri...
Flooded roads in Southeast Missouri
Some roads in Southeast Missouri remain closed today due to flooding from recent heavy rains. MoDOT released the following list this afternoon: n Route142 -from Rt. H in Ripley Co. to Rt. EE in Butler Co. n Route N - from CRD 243 to CRD 232 n Route V-from Madison County Line to Rt. F...
Corps of Engineers shutting down levee work at Birds Point
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has ordered work to rebuild the Birds Point levee to stop. Due to National Weather Service forecasts of unseasonably high river levels and more to come, Maj. Gen. John Peabody, commander of the corps' Mississippi Valley Division, has directed an orderly shutdown of construction in the floodway project area and the installation of a temporary flood barrier at the upper crevasse. ...
Corps of Engineers warns of possible river flooding in Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway
Unseasonably high river levels have created worry among farmers and government officials about the possibility of renewed flooding in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway.
More than 3 inches of rain has pelted the area in two days, prompting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue an advisory
Additional disaster project for Mississippi County approved
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Mississippi County will get to submit one more disaster relief project to FEMA. "The commission has received approval" to turn in the after-deadline project, County Clerk Junior DeLay told commissioners during their regular weekly meeting Thursday...
Nixon says corps' first responsibility is quick fix of levees
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon says fixing levees along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers should be job No. 1 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this winter and coming spring. Speaking at a mid-Missouri farm that had experienced some flooding during the summer's record Missouri River rise, Nixon said it is essential for Missouri's agricultural economy that levees damaged by the summer floods be rebuilt, and in a hurry...
Missouri House disaster response committee delays report
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Members of the House of Representatives' Committee on Disaster Recovery want more time to finish a report on the committee's findings. The committee spent about an hour-and-a-half Thursday looking over a draft of a report pulled together after several hearings in various parts of the state during the last six months...
Corps working round-the-clock to rebuild Birds Point levee ahead of bad weather
More than six months after the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway levee was intentionally breached, the threat of rain has again become the enemy of Mississippi County farmers desperate to have crop-saving flood protection. With Monday's storms and a chance of precipitation predicted for seven of the next nine days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working round-the-clock to repair the three places it blew with explosives in May...
Corps of Engineer general who ordered levee breach assigned to D.C.
A change of command for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Mississippi Valley Division is coming next week. According to a corps news release, Maj. Gen. Michael J. Walsh will transfer command of the division to Maj. Gen. John W. Peabody on Thursday. The quarterly newsletter of the corps said Walsh will become deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations in Washington, D.C. ...
Mo. disaster bill at $15 million so far, likely to rise
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri has spent about $15 million so far this year responding to natural disasters such as the deadly Joplin tornado and flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. State budget director Linda Luebbering says the tally primarily reflects costs incurred by the Missouri National Guard and the State Emergency Management Agency. Some of those expenses may be reimbursed later by the federal government...
Mississippi County explores other ways to fund flood repairs
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Mississippi County may get assistance on disaster recovery costs not covered by FEMA from another federal program. During their regular meeting Thursday, county commissioners approved applying for a special Community Development Block Grant which if awarded would pay the 25 percent not covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency...
Corps of Engineers dedicates $6.6 million to fix levee system at Cairo
CAIRO, Ill. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $6.6 million to address seepage issues in the Cairo levee that was almost lost during this spring's flooding.
Corps gets $3 million to repair Birds Point to 55 feet
DORENA, Mo. -- If the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could order up 80 straight days of weather like Friday's -- 65 degrees and sunny -- then the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway would be rebuilt to 55 feet by the middle of February. But corps officials said Friday at a news conference they know not many days like that remain, leaving Mississippi County residents with months of uncertainty before the threat of flooding returns next spring...
Corps of Engineers says levee will be rebuilt to 55 feet
Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday the only thing stopping them from raising the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway levee an additional four feet was $2.7 million.
FEMA wraps up public cost evaluations in Mississippi County
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- FEMA has left the county. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's project specialist assigned to Mississippi County conducted an exit conference with county officials Thursday following the county commission meeting. "They've completed all the project worksheets," County Clerk Junior DeLay said during the meeting. "They'll be leaving this week."...
Floodway farmers begin harvest of soybeans planted after levee breach
As Steve Wright's combine rolls through golden fields of soybeans, he remembers crossing those same fertile fields in a boat just days after the Birds Point levee breach. "People that don't live here don't know what it means. It's not just a piece of ground. It's your heart and soul," said Wright, who manages Glen Hillhouse Farms near Wyatt, Mo...
Olive Branch, Dutchtown still working toward flood buyouts
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill. -- Seven months before the waters stole almost everything, James Dunn thought he had found the home he would live in for the rest of his life. He and his wife Shirley had been moving from place to place over their 45 years of marriage, going where the work was. The hunt for steady jobs in construction took him from eastern Missouri to western Kentucky and a few spots in between...
MoDOT allowing heavier loads for repair of levees
The Missouri Department of Transportation will allow heavier-than-normal loads of sand and gravel to be transported on selected roadways this week during repair of levees in Southeast Missouri. According to a release from MoDOT, private and for-hire motor carriers may carry up to 10 percent more than their licensed weight. ...
Corps gets closer to finishing temporary fix at Birds Point levee
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to wrap up interim repairs early next month on one of three spots in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway levee that it blasted in May. The other breaches -- made in a controversial move to alleviate massive spring flooding -- are expected to be finished by Nov. 30, corps officials said Wednesday...
Shutdown averted? FEMA has enough disaster money
WASHINGTON (AP) -- After weeks of political brinkmanship in Congress, the threat of a partial government shutdown appeared to ease Monday with the disclosure that money to aid victims of natural disasters may last through the end of the budget year after all...
Receding Missouri River reveals badly damaged land
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- As the Missouri River slowly recedes, farmers seeing their fields for the first time since June are encountering sand dunes, strange debris and deep gouges the floodwaters carved into their once-fertile land. The soil quality has also been diminished because the floodwaters killed off many of the microbes that help crops grow and compacted the soil...
Senate blocks House disaster aid bill
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Democratic-led Senate blocked a House-passed bill on Friday that would provide disaster aid and keep government agencies open, escalating the parties' latest showdown over spending and highlighting the raw partisan rift that has festered all year...
Morehouse to celebrate flood recovery Saturday
MOREHOUSE, Mo. -- After five months of cleaning up debris and rebuilding their homes, Morehouse residents may be ready for a night off from work and worries. A flood recovery celebration is planned for Saturday at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Morehouse...
House GOP regroups after loss on disaster spending bill
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans grappled Thursday with ways to revive a must pass measure to provide billions of dollars in much-needed disaster relief and prevent a government shutdown at the end of next week. GOP leaders scheduled a closed-door meeting with the rank and file to sort through options to resolve the problem in the wake of Wednesday's 230-195 rejection of a $3.7 billion disaster aid measure that was attached to a stopgap funding bill to keep the government running into mid-November. ...
Corps backs study of its handling of Missouri River
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After months of sustained, historic Midwest flooding and criticism that the government bungled its management of the Missouri River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Friday it has commissioned a study of its handling of the waterway...
Corps pegs 2011 flood damage at $2 billion
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Army Corps of Engineers estimates it will cost more than $2 billion to repair the damage to the nation's levees, dams and riverbanks caused by this year's excessive flooding, a sum that dwarfs $150 million it currently has to make such repairs and that doesn't account for damage from Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee...
Mississippi County awaits word on FEMA flood funds
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Mississippi County officials are hoping a freeze on FEMA funding thaws out as expected. The status of disaster relief reimbursements from FEMA were again the chief topic of discussion during the Mississippi County Commission's regular meeting Thursday...
Hundreds attend East Prairie premiere of film about levee breach
EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. -- "Man Made: Disaster at Birds Point" was a big hit at its premiere Friday. The short documentary film produced by Osborn and Barr, a communications company in St. Louis specializing in agriculture, begins with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to breach the Birds Point-New Madrid levee with explosives at three sites alongside the Mississippi River to activate the floodway...
Engineer: Some bridges in floodway not cost-effective to rebuild
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Repairs on some of the bridges in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway would be a waste of money. Dennis Cox, an engineer for Smith and Company of Poplar Bluff, presented the Mississippi County Commission with his preliminary engineering report for bridges located on county roads 310, 312 and 521...
Missouri lawmakers vote to tap rainy day fund for disaster recovery
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri House has voted to use $150 million from the state's rainy day fund for disaster relief. But the vote may be mostly symbolic. Under the Missouri Constitution, the governor sets the agenda for special sessions. And Gov. Jay Nixon did not include the rainy day fund on his agenda...
Mo. lawmaker wants to tap reserve for disasters
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The top budget official in the Missouri House is proposing to use up to $150 million from the state's rainy day fund for disaster relief. House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey has filed legislation to tap the reserve fund, even though Gov. Jay Nixon did not include the topic on the agenda for this week's special session...
McCaskill pledges to secure full FEMA funding for Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Sen. Claire McCaskill says she's confident Missouri will get the full amount of federal disaster funding it is due despite a funding crisis at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Speaking to reporters in Columbia, Mo., this week, McCaskill said Missouri's congressional delegation would stand together and make sure recovery efforts in Joplin and flood damaged parts of the state would remain a top priority for FEMA, even as the agency faces the possibility of running out of emergency funds by the end of September.. ...
Highway officials discuss solutions for rebuilding road at Wappapello
WAPPAPELLO LAKE, Mo. -- One possible fix for the flood-damaged section of Route T at Wappapello Lake would have a permanent road in place within a year, highway officials told U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt on Wednesday during an informational tour of the damage...
Buyouts of Pinhook, Morehouse among topics at round-table discussion with Sen. Blunt
SIKESTON, Mo. -- The possible government buyouts of Pinhook and Morehouse, two Southeast Missouri communities devastated by spring flooding, were among the topics that U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt heard about Thursday afternoon during a round-table discussion on infrastructure damage from spring flooding...
Birds Point Levee work resumes after business lifts protest
Work to repair the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway resumed Thursday morning, after a Missouri Bootheel construction company dropped its dispute that a Las Vegas-based company didn't meet federal small-business requirements. Donald Bond Construction of New Madrid County filed an official protest late last week on the grounds that Wadley Construction of Nevada wasn't a small business, said U.S. ...
Gov. Nixon seeks details on FEMA funding
ST. LOUIS -- Disaster-struck communities counting on federal aid for recovery need to know which rebuilding projects will be delayed as money is shifted to other parts of the country, Missouri's governor told the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday.
Two state parks in floodway to reopen Friday
Two state parks that have been closed since the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway was inundated in early May will reopen Friday. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources said in a news release Tuesday that Big Oak Tree State Park and Towosahgy State Historic Site in Mississippi County -- covered with 12 to 16 feet of water and sand following the May levee breach -- are set to reopen...
FEMA holds some Joplin money to help with Irene aftermath
ST. LOUIS -- The federal government has frozen some aid to tornado- and flood-ravaged Missouri and the South to focus on immediate help for victims of Hurricane Irene, disappointing residents and officials who said Monday they still need help.
Corps takes next steps to repair Birds Point
The endangered birds that were holding up repairs on a section of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway have vacated their nests, which will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue working on providing area farmers some level of flood protection.
Wildlife in floodway suffer habitat loss after levee breach
Hunters, whose beagles run after them through the Mississippi River bottoms, call them "swampers." Swamp rabbits, popular with small-game hunters in the Birds Point New Madrid Floodway, were nearly wiped out when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intentionally blew up the Birds Point levee May 2...
Mo. lawmakers want feds to pay for flood damage
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Some Missouri lawmakers want to challenge the federal government before paying a portion of the damage costs from flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Typically, the federal government pays many of the immediate costs for disaster response and aid, then bills state and local government for 25 percent of the total...
Disasters won't be part of Missouri special session
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- It appears Missouri lawmakers will not be discussing natural disasters or the issue of recovery when they return to Jefferson City next month. Gov. Jay Nixon did not include disaster recovery on the agenda for the special legislative session that he called on Monday. Nixon says damage assessments from the natural disasters have not yet been completed. The governor had indicated earlier this summer that disaster recovery would be included in the special session...
Missouri auditor questions Nixon's budget cuts
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning whether Gov. Jay Nixon exceeded his authority when he made budget cuts partly to help pay for disaster response. The Republican auditor sent a letter Friday to the Democratic governor outlining his concerns...
Blunt: Funding for Mississippi, Missouri River levee repair inadequate
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt calls funding for levee repair and replacement along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers is inadequate. In a conference call with reporters, Blunt says he was worried about the funding request for the rivers in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' budget even before flooding began on the two rivers. He says the president's budget request rests too heavily on issues other than flooding and river control...
State senator: Missouri shouldn't pay for Birds Point-New Madrid floodway cleanup
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A state senator says the state should not be responsible for any costs incurred in the Southeast Missouri flood zone. Sen. Jim Lembke, R-St. Louis, says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created a disaster when they made the decision to flood thousands of acres in Southeast Missouri by destroying a portion of the Birds Point Levee in May. At the time, the corps said the destruction of the levee was necessary to reduce flooding in Cairo, Ill., and other towns in the area...
Missouri state officials unsure of disasters' cost
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri officials said Tuesday it was too soon to project how much the state will need to pay for responding to this year's spate of natural disasters.
Corps problem: Many demand Southeast Missouri levees rebuilt to 62 feet at public hearing
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- From the signs being held along the shore to the words being said aboard the ship, the message Monday was resounding: Rebuild the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway. Not to 51 feet, as proposed, but to 62 feet -- the level in place before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasted three holes in the levee in May as part of its plan to fight record-setting floodwaters...
Smelly surprises lurk beneath Missouri River
OMAHA, Neb. -- When the Missouri River's floodwaters recede this fall, piles of debris, silt and some smelly surprises will be revealed. It's hard to say exactly what's hiding under the waters, but experts said it is certain that this year's epic flood will leave behind a mammoth mess once the water returns to within the Missouri River's banks...
Morehouse celebrates reopening of post office after spring floods
MOREHOUSE, Mo. -- Neither rain nor snow nor dark of night can keep the postman from his rounds, but high water can run him out of his post office. On Thursday, Morehouse officials gathered to mark the reopening of the local facility at 520 Beech St., after spring floods forced its closure...
Mississippi County rates condition of bridges in spillway
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Four A's, a B, four C's, 2 D's and an F probably would be frowned upon as a student report card but Mississippi County's floodway bridges could have done a lot worse. Dennis Cox, an engineer for Smith and Co. in Poplar Bluff, presented county commissioners with the inspection report on the 11 bridges in the spillway during their regular meeting Thursday...
Missouri House disaster committee recommends using "rainy day fund"
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A Missouri House committee recommends using the state's Rainy Day Fund in addition to other sources of revenue as part of the state's response to clean up and recovery from the spring storms of 2011. The House Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery Friday turned in its report to Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, after a series of hearings throughout regions of the state affected by tornadoes and floods. ...
FEMA extends deadline, announces closure of center in Morehouse
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended its disaster assistance application deadline to Aug. 26 for renters, homeowners and business owners who suffered damages from severe storms, tornadoes and floods. "Don't prejudge your situation or feel that you may be taking something away from your neighbor," Federal Coordinating Officer Libby Turner said in a news release. "We want to make every effort to reach all Missourians and ensure that they receive assistance for eligible losses."...
22 working in area disaster recovery program; more start this week
Under a scorching summer sun, with the heat index hovering at 100 degrees, Don Freeman and Oscar Patterson slap shovelfuls of asphalt onto Scott County Road 212. It's hot, hard work. But after months of standing in unemployment lines, they say it's work they are grateful to have. They're proud to be earning a paycheck again...
State committee urges discussion of using reserve funds for disaster response
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri House committee reviewing disaster response is recommending that lawmakers debate whether to tap a reserve fund to help pay for recovery. Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, a Republican from Willard, is the chairman of the committee. Schoeller says the panel wants the full House to consider drawing from the state's "rainy day fund" to pay for disaster recovery and establishing a committee to oversee the funds...
Closure of Missouri River to barges will have little effect on local traffic
The closure of the Missouri River to barge traffic isn't expected to have much effect on the Mississippi River's traffic. Although most of the barge traffic along the Missouri River eventually ends up coming up or down the Mississippi, "tonnage on the Missouri River is not huge," said John LaRandeau, navigation program manager for the Northwestern Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "It's important to that region, but it's a very minor impact."...
Blunt: Disaster funding from FEMA should come through
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Roy Blunt says Missouri should receive full funding from FEMA for the state's string of natural disasters despite the agency's looming shortfall. The Obama administration has declared 54 major disasters in the wake of storms and floods throughout the U.S., this year. ...
FEMA warns of deadline approaching for individual assistance
Missouri homeowners or renters affected by flooding or tornadoes have until July 29 to register for FEMA individual assistance, according to FEMA spokesman John Mills. Mills said anyone affected by disasters from April 19 through June 6 may call 1-800-621-3362 to register. He said small-interest loans for disaster victims are also available through the Small Business Administration. That organization can be reached by calling (916) 717-5854...
Senators warn of possible FEMA shortfall
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senators are warning that the Federal Emergency Management Agency may be running out of money. During a subcommittee hearing into federal response to spring disasters, including the Joplin tornado, Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas, and Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said FEMA may need to rethink the way it classifies and responds to disasters. ...
Cape pumping stations close after 90-day mark
With the Mississippi River continuing to inch downward, Cape Girardeau's two pumping stations finally were shut down Monday afternoon after 90 straight days of making sure stormwaters didn't invade the city's downtown streets and businesses. City crews had to man the riverside stations round-the-clock, standing at the ready to flip switches that had the potential to send nearly 110,000 gallons a minute from the stormwater system into an already overflowing river...
Corps too slow in repairing levee, Emerson says
WYATT, Mo. -- The heavy equipment pushing dirt along the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway was a welcome sight to Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, who toured the area Saturday.
More than 130 claimants join floodway lawsuit against federal government
Daniel Babb looks across his sodden farmland and sees lost opportunity. He hears the planting season's clock ticking, and he worries about all he stands to lose.
Gov. Nixon to survey Birds Point today
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will be in Mississippi County this afternoon to survey the progress being made to rebuild sections of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway levee that were intentionally breached in May. He will also inspect flood damage at Big Oak Tree State Park in East Prairie, Mo...
Sprouting up: Nixon visits slowly healing New Madrid floodway
EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. -- Jay Nixon on Wednesday saw wide sections of scoured farmland, broken levees that have yet to be repaired and propane tanks that litter a usually scenic Missouri state park. But those images from the still lingering effects of the intentional breaching of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway weren't the strongest ones Missouri's governor left with...
FEMA flood buyouts top $2B since 1993
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Standing in the front yard of her former childhood home, Claudia Boyce looks across the street to the site of the wooden-framed Methodist church where people had gathered along the banks of the Missouri River since 1878. There's no trace of it now. Gone, too, is her family's yellow, two-story home, the Baptist church to her right, the row of neighbors' homes to her left, even most of the trees.
Southern Illinois residents considering flood buyout option
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill. -- Two days after Easter, Clinton and Susan Pecord watched as floodwaters rose about an inch per hour. They'd already moved most of their belongings out of their home in the old Alexander County town of Cache, Ill., about two miles from the Highway 127 and Highway 3 intersection. A few days later, they brought in a pontoon to haul out their furniture...
Insurance agents along Missouri River complain FEMA creating confusion
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Insurance agents in states along the swollen Missouri River basin say federal officials are causing widespread confusion among property owners by pushing the sale of flood insurance policies that might not cover damage from the river flooding that began this month...
Flood damage to county, state roads tops $81 million
Months after the floodwaters receded, miles and miles of Southeast Missouri roads are still in need of repairs. The Missouri Department of Transportation has already shelled out $1.2 million in its Southeast District to fix flood-damaged roads. Damage to state and county roads as a result of this spring's severe flooding exceeds $81 million, according to estimates provided to the Southeast Missourian by MoDOT and individual counties...
Area Red Cross has had busy year
For Gail and Peter Tinsley, the flood of 2011 was personal. The Poplar Bluff, Mo., couple spent a frenzied week in late April helping more than 300 of their friends and fellow community members displaced when the Black River surged over its levee and deluged much of the city...
FEMA resource center to reopen in Cairo
CAIRO, Ill. -- FEMA's temporary Disaster Recovery Center in Cairo will reopen Monday through Saturday at Emerson Elementary School, 3101 Elm St. The DRC will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. ...
High water indefinitely delays part of Big Bend Road project
The part of Big Bend Road Road that runs alongside Linda Shirrell's home was only supposed to be closed for about 30 days. That would give the contractor enough time to widen the two-block stretch near Sloan Creek Bridge before moving on to the next section...
Ag secretary questions Corps on Missouri flooding
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has taken the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to task for its handling of the Missouri River in a letter questioning its decision not to release more water from dams earlier in the spring to prevent prolonged flooding this summer...
SEMO prof expects high mosquito numbers in Missouri
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) -- A Southeast Missouri State University biology professor says the mosquito population is exploding in flooded parts of the state, but they're not the kind that carry the West Nile virus. Christina Frazier says the St. Louis County Health Department already is collecting five times as many mosquitoes in traps each night as it normally would...
State announces job program for Southeast Missouri flood cleanup
Ten workers started cleaning up flood damage in Morehouse, Mo., Wednesday as part of a new state program to put unemployed Missourians to work.
Buyers not put off by rising price of Southeast Missouri farmland
With a weak dollar and a shaky stock market, farmland is becoming an increasingly appealing investment. Agricultural real estate broker Ken Cantrell of Cape Girardeau has a long waiting list of potential buyers looking for farms in Southeast Missouri. They aren't put off by record land prices, either...
FEMA closing Sikeston disaster recovery center Saturday
SIKESTON, Mo. -- Scott County residents looking for assistance to recover from this spring's flooding will have one less resource at hand after Saturday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced the closing of the FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Center at 103 S. Kingshighway in Sikeston at 6 p.m. Saturday...
Authorities go silent on discovery of bones in floodway
Scores of bone fragments unearthed when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasted the Birds Point-New Madrid levee could fall prey to looters and morbid treasure collectors, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. But while securing and mitigating the 6.5-acre site of the potentially ancient remains could take months, there will be no delay in rebuilding the levee, a corps spokesman assures...
State disaster committee hears input on spring flooding
SIKESTON, Mo. -- Members of the Missouri House of Representatives' Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery listened for over four hours Thursday in Sikeston as the public voiced their opinions on how the state can aid them in recovering from recent flooding...
Nixon pledges additional $100 million for disaster relief
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has pledged an additional $100 million in state disaster aid following the deadly tornado in Joplin and continued flooding across the state. Nixon's announcement Friday raises Missouri's total financial commitment to $150 million for a particularly devastating few months of natural disasters...
Flood damage at Wappapello between $20 million and $30 million
WAPPAPELLO LAKE, Mo. -- Officials estimate the Wappapello Lake project area sustained between $20 million and $30 million in damage as a result of record flooding in April and May. A separate cost of $1.5 million to $2 million is projected to repair a more than 300 foot section of Route T ripped away when waters topped the emergency spillway...
Corps of Engineers monitoring New Madrid river level
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials met Thursday to discuss whether further action would be needed to stop a continually rising river from overtopping the levee in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway.
SEMO Port director: Other ports in region won't be dredged, either
The Southeast Missouri Regional Port Authority won't be alone this year as it searches for funding to dredge its harbor. According to Dan Overbey, director of the port authority, seven of the nine ports in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memphis district have recently found out they also will no longer receive the dredging services done by the corps in the past. ...
EPA tests show contamination levels normal in Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Environmental Protection Agency says tests on receding floodwaters in Southeast Missouri's Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway showed contamination below levels that would raise health concerns. The EPA's regional office in Kansas City, Kan., said Tuesday that the nine samples of water collected from the floodway area showed contamination levels "typically found" in the Mississippi River...
Disaster assistance deadline extended to July 29
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the deadline to register for state and federal disaster assistance to July 29. Renters, homeowners and businesses in the following 25 Missouri counties are eligible to apply: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Mississippi, New Madrid, Newton, Pemiscot, Pettis, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, St. ...
DNR now involved in investigation of bones found in floodway
The bones of Mississippi County are calling, and the dead unearthed in the floods of 2011 appear to be from Southeast Missouri's ancient tribal communities. Several weeks after bone fragments were first discovered near the north end of the blown Birds Point-New Madrid levee, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and state archaeologists have taken the lead in uncovering who the remains belong to. ...
EPA: Floodway water shows typical contamination
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Environmental Protection Agency says tests on receding floodwaters in Southeast Missouri's Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway showed contamination below levels that would raise health concerns. The EPA's regional office in Kansas City, Kan., said Tuesday that the nine samples of water collected from the floodway area showed contamination levels "typically found" in the Mississippi River...
Many in Morehouse still angry at MoDOT for building berm to save U.S. 60
MOREHOUSE, Mo. -- The flood that threatened Morehouse was an act of God, but many in this water-ravaged New Madrid County city still believe their ruin was man-made. Two months after much of the community was swallowed up by floodwaters, residents remain angry about the Missouri Department of Transportation's decision April 28 to build an earthen berm to keep U.S. ...
FEMA opens disaster recovery centers in Southern Illinois
Two Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Recovery Centers will open in Southern Illinois to answer questions about FEMA and other federal, state and volunteer agencies. Both centers are open from 9 to 7 a.m. The locations are: For more information on locations, days and hours of operation, services offered and driving directions go online to www.fema.gov or call 800-621-3362. For assistance any time call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362...
Visitors from Asia tour the spillway to gain insight
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Mississippi County officials hosted visitors from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand on a tour of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway. By viewing the area firsthand, the visitors hoped to gain insight on the breaches blasted into the levee by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the effect of the subsequent flooding in the spillway...
Hope growing in flood-scarred Morehouse, volunteer says
MOREHOUSE, Mo. -- Tim Russell and his army of hope waded into Morehouse in early May, just after the floods of 2011 swallowed up much of the small New Madrid County community. Russell, CEO and president of Bernie, Mo.-based Hope International, keeps a stark photograph in his mind. It's a picture of a family pulling up to their water-ravaged home in a johnboat, piling in whatever remained of their soaked possessions. Their heads were down; they had lost everything...
Some Morehouse residents run into trouble with FEMA over eligibility
MOREHOUSE, Mo. -- Beulah and Junior Ray Parker lost their home and most everything they owned when the floods of 2011 washed out much of Morehouse. Nearly two months later, the elderly couple is staying in the one-room living quarters of a former firehouse in Sikeston, Mo., just thankful they're no longer cramped in a 17-foot camper beneath an ancient oak tree in their backyard...
Corps of Engineers may raise southern crevasse to protect floodway
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crews are assessing a possible need to raise an area in the southernmost crevasse in the Birds Point-New Madrid levee today as water at the Ohio River gauge at Cairo, Ill., continues to climb toward a 41.5-foot crest forecast for early Sunday morning...
Disaster donation drive today at Schnucks
Pepsi MidAmerica and Schnucks are teaming up with the Salvation Army for a donation drive for disaster relief from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Donations of money and canned goods and other non-perishable food items will be accepted at the Cape Girardeau Schnucks store. Donations will go to the Salvation Army and be used locally to help victims of recent disasters...
Dutchtown residents discuss flood buyout
Gene Dumi has seen floodwaters pour into her home more than three times. She has a problem with mold in her house from previous floods, and after the most recent flooding of Dutchtown she has moved in with her son.
Corps of Engineers works to shore up floodway levee before river rises
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- Now at the one-week mark since rebuilding began on the Birds Point-New Madrid levee, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working quickly to construct a berm to a section of the levee to ensure the floodway doesn't take on water during a rise of the Mississippi River forecast for this weekend...
Cape County Commission appoints disabilities board members; buyout meeting in Dutchtown tonight
The Cape Girardeau County Commission reappointed two members to the Cape County Board for Developmental Disabilities at its Thursday meeting. Jim Andrews and Dixie McCollum were given three-year terms. Andrews has been on the board since 2002 and is the second-longest serving member after Arlysse Popp. ...
Beach at Lake Wappapello to remain closed
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Swimming beaches at the Lake of the Ozarks and Lake Wappapello will remain closed. The state Department of Natural Resources says Grand Glaize Beach at Lake of the Ozarks would be closed because water samples found high levels of E. coli bacteria. A second beach at the Lake of the Ozarks in Kaiser is open...
Deadline to apply for disaster benefits looms
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The deadline is approaching for victims of Missouri's recent storms, flooding and tornadoes to register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The deadline for all storm survivors from around the state is July 8...
State disaster committee encourages public to attend Sikeston meeting
SIKESTON, Mo. -- A state legislative committee formed to address disaster recovery will meet later this month in Sikeston. The Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery will meet at 1 p.m. June 30 at the Clinton Community Building, 501 Campanella Drive, according to a news release. The committee will look at continuing efforts to help areas of Missouri affecting by spring disasters including flooding and tornadoes and research how the state can best aid in the immediate recovery process...
MU estimates floodway crop loss at $85 million
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- University of Missouri economists estimate about $85 million in potential crop value lost from blowing out the Birds Point levee on the Mississippi River. The university's Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute said Monday that the economic loss climbs to about $156.7 million when other economic changes are factored in. FAPRI estimated current-year plantings and potential yields based on U.S. Department of Agriculture records...
Flood of business: With epic spring rains, storms and floods, it hasn't exactly been 'business as usual' in Southeast Missouri
It's been almost two months since heavy rainfall dumped over a foot of water on Southeast Missouri, flooding roads, homes, farmland and businesses. Though much of the water has receded, local businesses are still dealing with water damage and mold growth...
Levees breached, overtopped in northern Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Several levees in northern Missouri were failing Sunday to hold back the surge of water being released from upstream dams. Authorities said water -- some of it from recent rain -- began pouring over levees Saturday night and Sunday morning in Holt and Atchison counties, flooding farmland and numerous homes and cabins...
River rising again at Cape
After staying steady, around 35 feet, for weeks now, the Mississippi River is again rising at Cape Girardeau. Flooding along the Missouri River and precipitation forecast in the St. Louis area will cause the river to swell again over the next few days, according to Jayson Wilson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Paducah...
The death of Pinhook: Community will never return after flooding, residents say
When Anita Nance dreams, it's almost always of Pinhook. Her house, surrounded by what seemed like a thousand trees. Sunday mornings at Union Baptist Church. Countless friends swarming to Mr. George's huge yard or biking up the meandering county road to the playground and its dizzying merry-go-round...
Cape Girardeau Mobile Disaster Recovery Center to close Saturday
A FEMA recovery center open since Monday in Cape Girardeau will close Saturday and move to Bollinger County, FEMA announced Thursday. The Mobile Disaster Recovery Center at the Shawnee Park Center will close at 6 p.m. Saturday. FEMA urges storm and flooding victims who have questions about their applications for disaster aid to visit the center at the Shawnee Park Center or when it reopens in Marble Hill, Mo., on Monday. ...
Low-interest loan program, special unemployment available for Ill. flood victims
Some people in Southern Illinois are now eligible for low-interest loans and special unemployment assistance as they recover from spring flooding. The state treasurer's office announced Thursday a program to help Southern Illinois residents, businesses and farmers obtain low-interest loans to recover from weather-related damage to their property. The program caps the interest rate at three percent for qualified borrowers at participating financial institutions, making repairs more affordable...
Levee breach may have disturbed cemetery
When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasted the Birds Point-New Madrid levee in early May, it claimed the livelihoods of dozens of farmers in the fertile farmland beneath. Now there's evidence to suggest the floodway's activation may have disturbed the dead...
Corps of Engineers to start work on rebuilding levee today
The rebuilding begins now. Hours after Gov. Jay Nixon announced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would immediately rebuild the Birds Point-New Madrid levee, it appears the agency isn't wasting any time coming through on its word. "We have crews rolling north right now, and we expect to go to work this afternoon, to start moving work," said corps spokesman Jim Pogue. "Needless to say, we're anxious to get started."...
County commissioners, floodplain manager discuss new ordinance
During its regular meeting Thursday, Cape Girardeau County commissioners met with county floodplain manager Stan Murray to ask questions about a recently signed ordinance designed to ensure the county remains eligible to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program...
Flood victims should call FEMA to schedule inspection
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- FEMA is encouraging those in Southeast Missouri who have registered for FEMA assistance to call and schedule an inspection if one has not already been confirmed, according to a FEMA news release. For those who have already registered, call FEMA's Helpline, 800-621-FEMA (3362), select the language correct option and update the application for an inspector's visit. ...
Corn prices rise as multiple floods cut into crop
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Brian Peterson admitted it's hard to watch as floodwaters envelope the bright green cornstalks now about knee-height, but he said he'll survive the loss at his farm along the Missouri River in western Iowa. And experts said the nation will be OK, too, even after another in a series of events that have cut into the supply of corn, a crop that is the backbone of much of the world's food supply...
Corps general gives order to repair Birds Point levee
Six weeks ago, Southeast Missouri farmers watched as their levee was breached, allowing in a swollen Mississippi River to wash away their land, property and livelihoods.
So when word came Wednesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was preparing to "immediately" repair the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway, they were more than pleased.
Monsanto, Taiwan contribute to Missouri agriculture relief fund
Donations received by the Missouri Department of Agriculture will be used to set up a disaster relief fund to help Missouri farmers recover from recent flooding. Monsanto donated $100,000 to the fund Tuesday and Taiwan also contributed $50,000. The fund will be administered by the agriculture department and Small Business Development Authority. Grants will be available in three categories...
Disaster recovery center to open in Cairo
MARION, Ill. -- A temporary Disaster Recovery Center will open Wednesday in Cairo to allow people to meet with disaster recovery specialists. Residents will also be able to check on the status of their disaster assistance application and find out about other disaster programs available from the U.S. ...
Disaster aid to Missouri tops $21 million
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri residents have been approved for more than $21 million of federal disaster aid following tornadoes and flooding. And that number is likely to keep rising. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Monday that more than $12 million has gone to individuals hit by the Joplin tornado. The rest has gone to people affected by flooding in southeast Missouri, a tornado that struck St. Louis and other severe weather since May 9...
FEMA opens disaster recovery center in Cape
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened a mobile disaster recovery center in Cape Girardeau this week in an effort to better serve the area's storm victims, according to a news release. The mobile recovery center opened Monday at the Shawnee Park Center, 835 S. West End Blvd., according to a news release. FEMA encouraged storm victims to visit the center for answers to any questions they have about registration status or disaster assistance, the release said...
County commission approves bids for surplus vehicles
The Cape Girardeau County Commission approved bids for the sale of three surplus vehicles at its Monday meeting. B&B Auto Salvage won bidding for two vehicles for total of $670. Steve's Cleaning Service won the other with a bid of $752. The commission also reappointed Teresa Mauer to the Senior Citizens Service Fund Board...
New Madrid County waits for aid with flood recovery
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- It was -- and still is -- a waiting game. New Madrid County officials watched and waited as the water inundated the county. Then waited some more as the waters began to recede. Now, the wait is to learn how much assistance will be received...
Mississippi County works to repair roads in floodway
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Mississippi County officials are doing their best to restore roads in the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway. Richard Wallace, county road and bridge superintendent, has county crews building low-water crossings and is getting permission for alternate routes across private land where needed, county commissioners said during their regular meeting Thursday...
USDA designates 'primary disaster areas,' making farmers eligible for low-income loans
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 23 counties in Missouri and five counties in Illinois as primary natural disaster areas, making farmers there eligible for low-interest emergency loans. Designated counties include Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Ste. Genevieve and Stoddard in Missouri. Illinois counties receiving the designation are Alexander, Jackson, Monroe, Randolph and Union...
Nixon cuts Missouri education funding
ST LOUIS (AP) -- Gov. Jay Nixon cut funding for education and other programs Friday to help offset Missouri's mounting tab from a disastrous spring in which a deadly tornado and widespread flooding destroyed thousands of homes, businesses and farms.
Mississippi flooding may have spread invasive fish
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- While scientists have been battling to keep a ravenous, invasive fish species out of the Great Lakes, some worry that spring floods along the Mississippi River may be spreading the Asian carp downstream. Duane Chapman, a U.S. Geological Survey biologist and Asian carp expert, says the fish are likely to show up in places where Mississippi floodwaters intruded. They can weigh up to 100 pounds, grow 4 feet long and live for 25 years...
Reconstruction of Morehouse after flooding now in full swing
These days, Pete Leija speaks with a constant case of the sniffles. It's the price you pay when you're the mayor of flood-ravaged Morehouse, Mo., and you're allergic to mold. In the New Madrid County community that until early spring boasted a population of around 1,000 people, mold reigns supreme...
Some unemployed in Scott County to get jobs helping with flood recovery
BENTON, Mo. -- Some workers displaced by the severe weather this spring will soon have jobs -- which will also clean up the damage left behind. The Missouri Disaster Recovery Jobs Program, coordinated by the Workforce Investment Board, has the funds to make that all happen. And Scott County Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger and Emergency Management Director Amber Scudder got to learn more about that at a meeting earlier this week...
Corps general says levee repairs will be joint effort
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' top engineer said after touring damage Thursday in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway the corps will work with local and state officials to fix the levee.
Several Illinois counties granted disaster declaration
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill. -- Jim Melton was waiting Wednesday on the proper paperwork to begin rebuilding his life -- his home, his business, his past, all drowned under floodwaters unimagined until this spring.
Mo. House speaker forms special disaster committee
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Speaker of the House wants information on whether to call the legislature into special session to deal with the string of natural disasters afflicting the state this spring. Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, has formed a committee, chaired by Speaker Pro Tem Rep. ...
Wet spring, stagnant water mean 'mosquito summer from hell'
Poor Lewis and Clark. The mosquitoes were so bad during their 1804 journey across Missouri they must have entertained a notion or two of canceling the whole expedition. "Musquiters so thick & troublesome that it was disagreeable and painful to continue," wrote William Clark in his journal during that fateful trip...
Mississippi River ferry between Missouri and Kentucky reopens
HICKMAN, Ky. (AP) - Floodwater has receded on the Mississippi River enough that the Dorena-Hickman Ferry is going back into service. The ferry that crosses the river between Hickman, Ky., and Dorena, Mo., was closed on April 14 because of rising water...
Army expects full breach of Missouri River levee in Iowa
HAMBURG, Iowa -- Crews scrambled Monday to protect a southwest Iowa town from the swollen Missouri River, but local officials said it's unclear whether they'll be able to prevent the river from leaving the community under several feet of water for weeks...
Disastrous spring costing Missouri billions
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- First a tornado tore through the St. Louis airport. Then rising waters swamped small towns and flooded miles of fertile farmland along the Mississippi River. Then the nation's deadliest tornado in six decades ripped apart the city of Joplin, Mo...
About 75 Cairo residents attend service of thanksgiving
CAIRO, Ill. -- With her hands held high, swaying in the air above her, Stacy Smith-Fulia of Cairo sang praise to God with a thankful heart Saturday night.
FEMA deadline for filing claims for unemployment assistance July 1
Six Missouri counties -- Bollinger, Dunklin, Pemiscot, Phelps, Reynolds and St. Francois -- have been added to the state's disaster declaration, according to the state's Department of Labor. The declaration allows individuals affected by the recent natural disasters to access the 26-week Disaster Unemployment Assistance program. ...
Flooding on Missouri River won't cause Mississippi flooding here, corps and forecasters say
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service say while widespread flooding along the Missouri River and its tributaries in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota will not likely cause another significant flood along the Mississippi River in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois, local water levels will remain high through the summer...
Mo. gov. asks feds to cover full public aid costs
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has asked the federal government to pay the full cost of repairing public buildings and infrastructure damaged by recent floods and tornadoes. Nixon said Friday that his request is based on the historic devastation caused by a tornado that killed at least 138 people in Joplin and flooding that swamped hundreds of thousands of acres in Southeast Missouri...
Corps to open floodway information center in New Madrid on Wednesday
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced it will open a Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway information center at 705-B Highway 61 in New Madrid, Mo. on Wednesday. The office will be open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. ...
PR firm to make documentary about floodway
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- A St. Louis firm is putting together a documentary to tell the story of the devastation caused by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' activation of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway. Osborn and Barr, an agricultural marketing and public relations firm in St. Louis, is "disappointed with how this whole thing unfolded," according to Neil Caskey, director of advocacy and rural affairs for the firm...
Bands, Bel Air Grill work together to aid flood, tornado victims with Rock for Relief
As quickly as disaster strikes, good people unite to help reknit the fabric of their community. This weekend at Bel Air Grill in Cape Girardeau, some musicians are coming together to entertain with a purpose: helping those in need. The Rock for Relief benefit concert begins today and continues through Saturday...
Going home: Pinhook residents look to relocate as farmers look to plant
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Along a rural highway in Mississippi County, Paul Haney quietly sits and smokes in a lawn chair as a lifetime of ruined possessions smolder into ashes in a burn pile out back. In the deserted village of Pinhook, Joe and Dora Brown peer into the home they shared for three decades where more than an inch of mud now carpets the floors and creeps up the walls...
Corps of Engineers to explain claims process in East Prairie
EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. -- Officials from the Army Corps of Engineers' Memphis District will host an informational meeting Thursday in East Prairie to discuss the claims filing process for floodway residents and property owners. According to a news release sent out Wednesday, Memphis District commander Col. ...
FEMA recovery center to open in Sikeston
SIKESTON, Mo. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency will open a disaster recovery center in Sikeston at 1 p.m. Thursday. Representatives from FEMA, the State Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration will be available to answer questions and aid people in filing disaster recovery claims. ...
MoDOT flooded roads update
SIKESTON - The Missouri Department of Transportation has closed routes in Southeast Missouri due to the recent flooding. Motorists are urged to use extreme caution and plan alternate routes. Routes that are closed include: For more information, please contact MoDOT's Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636) or visit the Traveler Information Map at: http://maps.modot.mo.gov/timi/index.aspx......
FEMA: $5.8 million in assistance paid to Southeast Missouri
More than $5.8 million in individual assistance has been granted to Southeast Missouri flood victims by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Mississippi residents return to their flood-damaged homes
CUTOFF, Miss. -- Javier Campos returned to his neighborhood for the first time in nearly a month Monday to find the serene little enclave of fishing camps and homes a putrid, mud-caked mess after the historic flooding of the Mississippi River. "It's too late for praying now," he said, stomping through the sludge...
More counties added to federal disaster declaration
Five more Southeast Missouri counties have been added to a federal disaster declaration that includes seven other local counties cleaning up after recent flooding. Residents in Bollinger, Dunklin, Pemiscot, Reynolds and St. Francis counties are now eligible for individual federal assistance to cover uninsured losses or expenses, such as temporary housing, home repair, replacement of household items and medical bills...
Mississippi County commission hears report on flood-related road damage
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Flooding in Mississippi County has taken a heavy toll on both state and county roads, according to county officials. "We've been working on everything this side of the levee," Richard Wallace, county road and bridge superintendent, reported during the regular county commission meeting Thursday. "We just now have them passable."...
Cairo to hold service of thanksgiving
CAIRO, Ill. -- A community service of thanksgiving is planned in Cairo to celebrate the town's survival after recent flooding. The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. June 4 at the Cairo High School gymnasium. Mayor Tyrone Coleman and representatives of Cairo's faith community will offer prayers and praise in the hourlong service...
Seep water rising in East Cape Girardeau as other communities begin to dry out
EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU, Ill. -- As the rivers recede from the historic floods of 2011, the water is rising to dangerous levels in East Cape Girardeau. Cape Girardeau's neighbor across the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge is inundated with seep water from the Mississippi River and the swollen streams feeding into it, displacing homeowners and threatening businesses...
Southeast Missouri native David Nail headlines flood relief concert in Sikeston
In times of crisis, people join together to help out in any way they can. As Southeast Missouri recovers from flood and storm damage, one Kennett, Mo., native is using his talents to help his roots. MCA recording artist David Nail will perform today at the Sikeston Field House in a concert to benefit the SEMO Health Network, which is helping flood and storm victims in Southeast Missouri. ...
FEMA opens recovery center in Charleston
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency opened a disaster recovery center at Charleston High School, 606 South Thorn St. in Charleston, on Wednesday. FEMA centers continue to operate at the Morehouse Fire Station and Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, Mo. ...
Teams assessing flood damage in Cairo
CAIRO, Ill. -- As Alexander County and Cairo officials started assessing damages to public infrastructure Tuesday, Gov. Pat Quinn requested the federal government declare 14 Southern Illinois counties major disaster areas based on widespread damage to homes and businesses...
Corps won't rule out gates for Birds Point levee fix
Should the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ever opt to activate the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway to fight floodwaters again, it could be a decidedly less explosive event. The order could come to simply raise the gates. The corps on Tuesday would not rule on the possibility that earthen berms it blew to bits with 276 tons of explosives earlier this month could be replaced with mechanical gates, similar to two floodways downriver in Louisiana. ...
Flooding displaces wildlife in Southeast Missouri
SIKESTON, Mo. -- Human beings weren't the only population disrupted by the recent flooding. High waters have also forced wildlife from their habitats. Among the displaced groups of animals on many minds are snakes. "With regard to snakes, the flooding certainly disrupted their habitat and the places they're used to hanging around. ...
New bypass near Wappapello spillway to open this week
APPAPELLO LAKE, Mo. -- A new Route T bypass road is expected to open late this week below the emergency spillway at Wappapello La
Corps sets March deadline for temporary fix of breached Birds Point levee
The message sure to infuriate property owners in the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway came down as a tweet Monday from Col. Vernie Reichling. "Just visited the inflow of the BPNM, water is slowly stopping. Memphis engineers developing alternatives to reset levee by 1 Mar 12," Reichling, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memphis District, wrote on Twitter...
Corps of Engineers posts damage claim information on website
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has posted information on its Mississippi Valley Division website for people who believe they have sustained damages as a result of floodway operations to file claims for compensation. The website includes a simple claims process statement, detailed claims process information and a form to file claims for damage, injury or death...
Water inches closer to Louisiana homes
BUTTE LAROSE, La. -- The final wave of holdouts has mostly packed up and left this town as water from the swollen Atchafalaya River inched toward their homes, their frustration and hope painted on signs outside their now-abandoned homes. "Nothing left worth stealing," read one. ...
Restoration of Mississippi County roads will take '50-truck operation,' commissioner says
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Repairing Mississippi County's infrastructure is going to take a lot of time or a lot of money -- and maybe both. With water receding enough in some areas of the spillway to reveal land again, county commissioners began discussing disaster recovery efforts during their regular meeting Thursday...
FEMA adds eight counties to list of federal disaster areas
More people affected by flooding are now eligible for federal assistance after eight more Missouri counties have been declared federal disaster areas. The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday added Cape Girardeau, Howell, McDonald, Pulaski, Ripley, Scott, Stoddard and Stone counties to a federal disaster declaration that already included New Madrid, Mississippi and Butler counties in Southeast Missouri as well as St. Louis and Taney counties...
Government scientists test water at Birds Point
ST. LOUIS -- Government scientists are evaluating samples of Mississippi River water taken from the area protected by the Birds Point levee in Southeast Missouri to see what sort of contaminants are flowing over fields and into homes following the intentional break.
USDA official tours Birds Point, talks to farmers
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- A top official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture toured damage to Mississippi County farmland Friday as part of a two-day trip up the flooded Mississippi River. Standing at the edge of a small cliff where on May 2 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the Birds Point levee, Michael Scuse, Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, saw acres and acres of farmland still underwater...
Corps of Engineers opens gates at St. John's Bayou
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- Backwater flooding may soon be diminishing. The Army Corps of Engineers reported the flood gates from the St. Johns Bayou into the Mississippi River were opened at 2:25 a.m. Thursday. Previously the Corps was using five pumps near New Madrid to move some of the water from the bayou...
2 motorcycle dealerships raising funds for flood victims
The co-owners of two regional Harley-Davidson dealerships will devote 40 days and nights of fundraising for relief to flood victims in Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri. "Our goal is to raise $40,000 in 40 days by selling raffle tickets for the chance to win a brand new 2011 Harley-Davidson Superlow," said Shad Zimbro, co-owner of Black Diamond Harley-Davidson of Marion, Ill., and Bootheel Harley-Davidson in Scott City, in a news release. ...
Mississippi River claims first life, crests in Vicksburg, Miss.
VICKSBURG, Miss. -- The Mississippi River crested at more than 14 feet above flood stage in Vicksburg on Thursday, a slightly lower than expected level that eased worries about water potentially spilling over a nearby levee and inundating thousands more acres of farmland...
Mississippi sees 1st death from overflowing river
VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) -- A man died Thursday after being pulled from the floodwaters overflowing from the Mississippi River, becoming what is believed to be the first flood casualty since the river started spilling into Mississippi and Louisiana...
USDA official to visit with Mississippi County farmers today
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- A high-ranking USDA official will visit Southeast Missouri to view flood damage today, including a public appearance in Charleston to talk with those affected by flooding and the operation of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway...
Cape County commissioners approve vaccine for county and city employees
At its Thursday meeting the Cape Girardeau County Commission approved a motion to allow county and city employees to receive one-shot doses of tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccine free of charge on June 1. The vaccinations will be provided by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, which obtained extra doses. The vaccine is indicated for people who have filled sandbags or worked within flooded areas, who are at a higher risk of puncture wound injuries due to these activities...
Mississippi flooding evacuees face tedious wait
VICKSBURG, Miss. -- In the area of Mississippi hardest-hit by river flooding, evacuees passed time in shelters Wednesday by reading books, praying or smoking cigarettes as officials said they didn't expect waters to overflow a nearby levee that protects thousands of acres of farmland. Cargo was slowly moving along the bloated Mississippi River after a costly daylong standstill...
Corps of Engineers to open information center for floodway
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memphis District announced Wednesday it will open an information center for the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway. The purpose of the facility will be to provide information about the corps' recovery efforts and restoration of breached levees in the floodway and to explain the claims process for people who believe they are entitled to compensation for damages caused by floodway operations, according to the news release...
Miss. flood evacuees spend tedious days in shelter
VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) -- In the area of Mississippi hardest-hit by river flooding, evacuees passed time in shelters Wednesday by reading books, praying or smoking cigarettes as officials warily watched waters inch toward the top of a nearby levee that protects thousands of acres of farmland. Cargo was slowly moving along the bloated Mississippi River after a costly daylong standstill...
Costly Mississippi River closure meant to protect levees
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Coast Guard has interrupted shipping along the major artery for moving grain from farms in the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico over fears that the bulging Mississippi River could strain levees that protect hundreds of thousands from flooding. Already, thousands have sought refuge from floodwaters up and down the river...
Army offers timeline of Birds Point levee restoration
Calling the restoration of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway a "top priority," the U.S. Army has sent letters to Missouri's Congressional delegation suggesting that a true damage assessment of the floodway can't begin until early July.
FEMA opens help centers in Morehouse, Poplar Bluff
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will open a disaster recovery center at 1 p.m. today at the Morehouse Fire Department. The center will provide access and information for those affected by recent flooding.
"The center enables people to meet face to face with FEMA personnel," said John Mills, external affairs field specialist.
Stoddard County commission discusses compiling infrastructure damage list
BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- Stoddard County commissioners discussed compiling a list of damages to roads, bridges and other infrastructures due to recent flooding to present to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State Emergency Management Agency at their Tuesday meeting. Authorities from those agencies were expected to visit the county later this week...
Levees require round-the-clock watch
NEW ORLEANS -- All along the swollen Mississippi River, hundreds of thousands of lives depend on a small army of engineers, deputies and even prison inmates keeping round-the-clock watch at the many floodwalls and earthen levees. They are looking for any droplets that seep through the barriers and any cracks that threaten to turn small leaks into big problems. ...