Midwest towns prepare for floods as river crests roll south

WEST ALTON, Mo. (AP) — Heavy rain over the past several days has triggered a new round of spring flooding in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.

Residents in the small town of West Alton, Missouri, about 20 miles north of St. Louis, are watching to see what happens after a levee breach. Officials advised people to evacuate last night, but most of the 500 residents have chosen to stay because the spot where the levee broke does not give the river a direct path to the town.

West Alton Fire Chief Rick Pender says the rain has stopped and the rest of the levee appears to be holding.

Meanwhile, a number of communities along the swollen Iowa River are getting some welcome news. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says Coralville Lake in eastern Iowa is now expected to crest Thursday three feet below the emergency spillway. The corps had warned days ago that the spillway would be breached sometime this week, but dry weather in the area has helped water levels recede.

The Iowa is expected to crest this week in Iowa City, where some streets and parks already are underwater.

%@AP Links

149-c-13-(Buzz Ullrich (UHL’-rihk), correspondent with KFUO Radio)-”period of time”-Correspondent Buzz Ullrich says part of a bridge from Illinois is closed because of flooding, even though most of the town of West Alton, Missouri is still dry. (4 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *149 (06/04/13)>> 00:13 “period of time”

148-c-17-(Buzz Ullrich (UHL’-rihk), correspondent with KFUO Radio)-”not too high”-Correspondent Buzz Ullrich says some people have decided not to evacuate after a levee broke near where the Mississippi River meets the Missouri in West Alton, Missouri. (4 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *148 (06/04/13)>> 00:17 “not too high”

145-a-14-(Chief Rick Pender, Rivers Pointe Fire District, in AP interview)-”spots as well”-Rivers Pointe Fire Chief Rick Pender says the new temporary barriers are holding back the floodwater, so now it’s just a matter of making sure they continue to do the trick. (4 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *145 (06/04/13)>> 00:14 “spots as well”

146-a-13-(Chief Rick Pender, Rivers Pointe Fire District, in AP interview)-”you need to”-Rivers Pointe Fire Chief Rick Pender says authorities decided to issue a voluntary evacuation notice as they worked to shore up temporary barriers to keep the town from flooding. (4 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *146 (06/04/13)>> 00:13 “you need to”

147-a-08-(Chief Rick Pender, Rivers Pointe Fire District, in AP interview)-”the way around”-Rivers Pointe Fire Chief Rick Pender says the new temporary barriers to control flooding have closed off roads and anyone who needs to leave West Alton now has to go north all the way through St. Charles. (4 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *147 (06/04/13)>> 00:08 “the way around”

144-a-10-(Chief Rick Pender, Rivers Pointe Fire District, in AP interview)-”late-evening breach”-Rivers Pointe Fire Chief Rick Pender says new temporary barriers are protecting most of the town. (West Alton is a suburb of St. Louis in the east-central part of the state.) (4 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *144 (06/04/13)>> 00:10 “late-evening breach”

APPHOTO MOCAP101: Dustin Schmidt walks along the levee surrounding two homes in Dutchtown, Mo., Monday, June 3, 2013, as floodwater from the Mississippi River approaches on the small Southeast Missouri town. (AP Photo/Southeast Missourian, Laura Simon) (3 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO MOCAP101 (06/03/13)>>

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