The Latest: Low-lying part of St. Joseph evacuated
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Midwest (all times local):
Authorities are evacuating a low-lying area of St. Joseph, Missouri, as the Missouri River crests at near-record levels.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jake Angle says the evacuation began late Friday morning in the city’s Lake Contrary area. The river is cresting in the city at levels that are less than 1 foot (0.3 meters) away from those reached during historic 1993 flooding. More than 100 people are sandbagging to shore up the levee that protects the Missouri Air National Guard and Rosencrans Airport.
Across the river, about 1,200 residents of the Kansas town of Elwood were urged to leave.
Kansas City Power & Light says that because of the flooding, crews have shut off power to some customers in five communities, including St. Joseph, which has a population of about 75,000.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says recent flooding in the state has caused an estimated $1.6 billion in damage.
Reynolds sent a letter asking President Donald Trump to quickly issue a disaster declaration for 57 counties in Iowa that have been severely impacted by flooding, including along the Missouri River.
Ongoing flooding along the river has damaged thousands of homes and inundated agricultural land in several Midwestern states.
Reynolds says Iowa will need the additional federal recovery assistance to help with damage and losses related to agriculture, businesses, homes and levees.
The damage estimates indicate flooding that began last week has caused $417 million in damage to homes with minor damage and $64 million to homes with major damage.
Businesses suffered $300 million in damage, while agriculture damage is estimated at $214 million. Additional damage is to levees.
Flooding in Nebraska has caused an estimated $1.4 billion in damage. The state received Trump’s federal disaster assistance approval on Thursday.
More towns are evacuating as the flooded Missouri River seeps over and through busted levees.
The National Weather Service says the river is expected to crest Friday at levels just short of those reached during historic 1993 flooding in Atchison, Kansas, and St. Joseph, Missouri.
About 1,200 residents of the Kansas town of Elwood were urged to leave, and the governor eased restrictions on large vehicles carrying relief supplies. Across the river, parts of an industrial area in St. Joseph were inundated with water.
But no major flooding is forecast downstream in Kansas City.
The Missouri River swelled following heavy rains and snowmelt this month. The flooding had been blamed for three deaths, damaged thousands of homes in Nebraska,Iowa and Missouri, and taken a heavy toll on agriculture.