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Missouri governor declares state of emergency after flooding

March 21, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Midwest (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has declared a state of emergency in response to flooding of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

The action on Thursday will allow state agencies to work directly with local authorities to respond to flooding that’s caused widespread property damage.

Parson, the state’s Emergency Management Agency director and other officials plan to meet with local leaders and survey flood damage Thursday.

The Missouri River swelled following heavy rains and snowmelt earlier this month. The flooding has damaged hundreds of homes in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, and has been blamed for at least three deaths. Authorities have rescued several people stranded by flooding in northwest Missouri.

The flooding has also taken a heavy toll on agriculture, inundating tens of thousands of acres, threatening stockpiled grain and killing livestock.

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1:20 p.m.

Another levee has breached as high water levels make their way down the flooding Missouri River.

Buchanan County, Missouri, Emergency Director Management Bill Brinton says an agriculture levee breached around 11 a.m. Thursday just across the river from Atchison, Kansas, where the river is expected to crest at record levels. The Missouri towns of Winthrop and Lewis and Clark Village are at risk of taking on water as the size of the breach grows. But Brinton says most of the 200 people who live in the area already left.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the levee is one of about 20 that have breached in Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska. Crests in St. Joseph, Missouri, are expected to be the third-highest on record, although only about half a dozen homes in the city aren’t protected by a federal levee.

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9 a.m.

Authorities have rescued several people stranded by flooding in northwest Missouri.

The State Highway Patrol said in a tweet that water patrol troopers worked into the night Wednesday in and around Craig. Four people were pulled from homes, while three were rescued from a boat that ran out of gas.

The town of roughly 220 people began flooding after a levee breach, with several homes inundated with water. A local ethanol plant was also shut down amid the flooding.

The Missouri River swelled following heavy rains and snowmelt earlier this month. The flooding has damaged hundreds of homes in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, and been blamed for at least three deaths.

The flooding has also taken a heavy toll on agriculture, inundating tens of thousands of acres, threatening stockpiled grain and killing livestock.