Levees Burst as Floods Deluge Midwest
UPDATE: The levees along the Missouri River are breaking.
url="http://www.tampabays10.com/news/national/article.aspx?storyid=54503"]Flood water has been spilling over at least 20 levees protecting communities
along the Missouri River and other waterways.
Missouri's state capital, Jefferson City, is preparing for flooding today or tomorrow.
Parts of Missouri, Iowa and Kansas have been drenched by up to eight inches of rain over 24 hours.
In the wake of the weekend's tornadoes come floods, sweeping across five states in the wake of heavy storms.
Heavy flooding was reported across a five-state region following three days of storms and with it a flood of outcries aimed toward the Bush administration due to the lack of National Guard equipment and personnel needed to help.
A devastating tornado was credited with destroying the town of Greensburg, Kansas with the twister measuring more than a half mile across and everything in its path for 26 miles leveled. But Kansas says it is facing a 50% shortage of National Guard equipment with it and Kansas National Guardsmen deployed in Iraq.
The Greensburg tornado was part of a storm front that blanketed the Plains states as far north as South Dakota.
A check of river gauges this morning show 11 at major flood stage and 43 more at moderate flood stage, with most of those readings coming from the central Plains and no way to combat the expected flooding adequately due to lack of equipment and Guardsmen.
The National Weather Service predicted Monday that flooding from the three-day storm could reach proportions nearly as devastating as in 1993 when entire towns were wiped off the map.
Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt declared a state of emergency and ordered the mobilization of Missouri National Guard troops, though Gov. Blunt complained that much of the State's Guard equipment and personnel were in Iraq and his comments brought out a flood of its own aimed towards the White House.
The same complex of storms that churned up the deadly enhanced F-5 twister in the southwest Kansas town of Greensburg generated the heavy rain that is causing the flooding, said Andy Bailey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill. Northwest and southeast Missouri, southwest Iowa and much of Kansas received from 4 to 7 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, he said.
Bowen has spent most of his day on the phone talking to his insurance
company, trying to figure out what to do next.
“We just have a basic policy and a basic policy does not cover any kind of water damage,” he said.
He's already ripped up the water-damaged carpet from his floor and has the windows open to air out his home.
But Bowen says he probably wouldn't be in this situation if he
wasn't told by his insurance company he didn't need flood insurance.
Many residents near the Shunga Creek area say they had flood
insurance at one point but dropped it after they found out they were
not in a flood plain.
This city-wide map shows the flood plain boundaries in that area that are determined by the federal government.
The houses that sit in the blue area are required to have flood
insurance because it's possible a flood could happen once every 100
years. But while the homes in the yellow are in a flood plain,
homeowners are not required to get insurance because a flood could only
happen once in every 500 years.
“They pulled up the address of the house we were buying and said it
wasn't in a flood zone so there's no need to have flood insurance,” he
But he's not alone. Bowen says out of all the houses on his block, only one person has flood insurance.
“If I knew that creek was going to flood, I would've got flood insurance but we're going to be okay,” Bowen said.
CURRENT FLOOD WARNINGS, VIA NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: