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The Latest: Flooding impacting Amtrak service in Missouri

March 17, 2019

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Midwest (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

Flooding along the Missouri River is causing long delays for Amtrak passengers.

The passenger rail service said Sunday that its Missouri River Runner service between St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, will have delays up to five hours because of flooding and rail congestion.

Amtrak says all Missouri River Runner trains will be canceled Monday. The service typically travels twice daily between Missouri’s two metropolitan areas.

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12:40 p.m.

The flooding Missouri River has damaged dozens of buildings at an Air Force base in Nebraska.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that about one-third of the Offutt Air Force Base is under water. A spokeswoman for the base says 60 buildings, mostly on the south end of the base, have been damaged, including about 30 completely inundated with as much as 8 feet (2.4 meters) of water.

Among the buildings badly damaged are the headquarters building and a hangar.

Offutt’s lone runway is expected to remain closed until Tuesday afternoon.

Airmen had been filling thousands of sandbags, but the newspaper reports that the sandbagging effort has been halted.

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11:40 a.m.

Residents in parts of southwestern Iowa are being urged to leave their homes as a torrent of Missouri River water flows over and through levees.

Heavy rainfall and snowmelt forced river levels across four Midwestern states to dangerous levels. Two deaths were blamed on the high and forceful water, and two other men have been missing for days.

While river levels on Sunday were starting to level off in Nebraska, residents in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri were bracing for the worst still yet to come. Flooding has also been reported in Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The Missouri River reached a record 30.2 feet (9.2 meters) Sunday in Fremont County, Iowa, in the state’s far southwestern corner. People in parts of Bartlett and Thurman were being evacuated as water broke through or overtopped levees.

County Emergency Management Director Mike Crecelius says it isn’t just the amount of water, it’s the swiftness of the current that creates a danger.

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11:20 a.m.

Flooding caused by heavy rain and snowmelt is blamed for two deaths in the Midwest, and two others are missing.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in Nebraska and Iowa as levees succumbed to the rush of water. Flooding has also been reported in Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Authorities say 52-year-old Aleido Rojas Galan of Norfolk, Nebraska, died Friday night in southwestern Iowa. Officials say Galan and two others were in a vehicle that drove around a barricade and was swept away. The other two men survived.

On Thursday, 50-year-old James Wilke of Columbus, Nebraska, died when a bridge collapsed as he used a tractor to try and reach stranded motorists.

A Norfolk man was seen on top of his flooded car late Thursday before being swept away. Water also swept away a man after a dam collapse. Both men are still missing.