May 31, 2019

Multiple Levee Failures as More Flooding Occurs

Residents in both Mississippi and Arkansas forced to evaluate as more flooding breaks levees

Residents in both Mississippi and Arkansas forced to evaluate as more flooding breaks levees

Mississippi and Arkansas residents were forced to evacuate Thursday, May 30, after a levee breach occurred along Durgens Creek, which flows into the Mississippi River.

According to AccuWeather, the Marion County Sheriff Office issued mandatory evacuation orders for the towns of West Quincy, Taylor and Fabius Village in Missouri after 6:30 p.m. May 30. Multiple shelters are open in Missouri, including the Mission Hill Church in Palmyra and the YMCA in Hannibal.

“Emergency management reported flooding along the Durgens Creek in Lewis County. Water is expected to flow south into West Quincy. Move to higher ground now. Act quickly to protect your life,” said the National Weather Service office in St. Louis in a flash flood warning, according to AccuWeather.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker activated 200 Illinois National Guard soldiers, according to Farm Week Now. Gov. Pritzker called the flooding “a grave situation.”

Illinois Brig. Gen. Richard Neely said 200 soldiers will be deployed along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers and another 200 will remain on standby.

“Their primary focus will be supporting levees and critical infrastructure,” Neely said.

The Illinois River is expected to set a new record at Valley Site, according to Farm Week Now. “My counties will exceed the flood of record,” said Blake Roderick, Pike-Scott Farm Bureau executive director, according to Farm Week Now. “They’re [levees] are holding their own. The work done at the beginning of May was not removed.”

According to AccuWeather, the Mississippi River is in major flood stage and “was less than a foot away from the all-time record level” Thursday night.

Holla Bend, Ark., residents also were forced to evacuate when the Dardanelle Levee breached before 1 a.m. the morning of May 31, according to KATV.

“The city is preparing for a possible flooding situation coming from the bayou side,” said Dardanelle Mayor Jimmy Witt on Facebook, according to AccuWeather. "We will need both sandbagging operations going today and I ask you to please not panic, we have time to prepare for this. It will not be coming into our area for quite a while."