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Floodwaters rise in Missouri River Basin

June 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 21 (UPI) -- Evacuations have been ordered in Missouri and South Dakota while Nebraska prepares for flooding as water levels in the region are still rising, officials said.

Widespread, heavy rain fell Monday and more was predicted Tuesday across a significant portion of the Missouri River basin, Bruce Terry of the U.S. Hydrometeorological Prediction Center said.

The 300 residents of Craig, in northwest Missouri, have been given 48 hours to leave their homes as floodwaters topped several levees during the weekend and again on Monday, The Kansas City Star reported.

"With the levee failures, we'll have water encroaching on us right away," project manager Terry Eaton said. "There are elderly who need assistance, so now is the time to do it."

In North Dakota, state officials were issuing flood warnings to all residents of the Souris River Valley in the face of the highest flood flows ever recorded, the Minot (N.D.) Daily News reported.

The flooding is forecast to inundate Minot to a level seven feet to eight feet higher than the catastrophic flood of 1969, the newspaper said.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered Monday for all evacuation zones within the city.

In Nebraska, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials said there's no longer any point in talking about "how much rain the [Missouri] river can handle" because it's already out of its banks.

Up and down the river, officials have begun preparing for rain-related flooding, the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald reported.

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