Midwest towns hold their breath as more levees break
More residents are starting to worry that the flood waters are not receeding fast enough as more levees are breaking along the Mississippi River and still more flooding could occur.
He returned and remodeled his house after the flood of 1993. This time, he doesn't know if it will be worth coming back.
"This is my second flood. I don't think there will be a third," Aubuchon said as he drove a pickup truck loaded with a washing machine and other belongings out of his subdivision. Floodwaters rapidly filled the roads, yards and gullies behind him just hours after a levee breached north of Foley. Authorities estimate much of the small town will be flooded by the weekend.
Three Mississippi River levees broke Thursday in Lincoln County, sending a creeping wave of water toward Foley and causing more concern in nearby Winfield.
The river was overflowing 90 percent of the levees in eastern Lincoln County, and at least four more breaches were expected to aggravate the flooding overnight, said Lincoln County Emergency Management spokesman Andy Binder.
While the situation worsened in Lincoln County, it improved slightly elsewhere along the river after the National Weather Service significantly lowered crest predictions. The revisions came after several levee breaks in Illinois, including one on Wednesday near Meyer that potentially could inundate 17,000 acres of farmland with water that otherwise would have been flowing south.
This has been the worst flooding in this area in 15 years.
The flooding and violent storms have been blamed for 24 deaths since late May across the Midwest, have generated untold damage in the billions of dollars, and are expected to aggravate rising food prices since they ravaged prime areas of the U.S. Cornbelt.
Hannibal, the boyhood home of author Mark Twain, was high and dry behind its earth levee and flood wall but other towns on both sides of the engorged river were not so lucky.
"It's a beautiful river, but it can turn very vicious and ugly in a hurry," said John Hark, emergency management director for the city of Hannibal.
President George W. Bush toured some of the devastation in Iowa on Thursday, and the White House said relief would be made available from $4 billion in the government's disaster fund.