PERCIVAL, Iowa (AP) — A Missouri River levee failed near Percival in southwest Iowa on Thursday morning, the National Weather Service said.
The breach, about a mile northwest of the town in Fremont County, had grown to about 200-yards-wide by 9 a.m., Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency
Management spokesman John Benson said.
Local emergency officials told the weather service that the breach is expected to flood areas already evacuated between Interstate 29 and the river.
Percival sits just east of the interstate.
National Weather Service forecaster Josh Boustead said the breach was discovered after the river level downstream at Nebraska City dropped about 6
inches to 27.6 feet. The breach occurred shortly before 4 a.m.
Residents in the area threatened by the breach were ordered to evacuate their homes last week, so authorities did not plan to issue a flash flood
warning or evacuation order. Nevertheless, Fremont County officials planned to check the area for remaining residents.
The Iowa Department of Transportation extended the closure of Interstate 29 because of the breach near Percival. The interstate is now closed from
exit 24 near Bartlett, Iowa, south to Rock Port, Mo.
Percival is about 16 miles northwest of Hamburg, which had to build a secondary levee earlier this month after earlier breaches in northwest
Local emergency management officials have said the water flowing through the breached levee near Percival could eventually join with the floodwaters
from failed levees south of Hamburg. That would increase the pressure on Hamburg's new levee, which has held so far.
The corps says it is releasing huge amounts of water into the river to deal with unexpectedly heavy spring rains and substantial Rocky Mountain
snowpack. Officials predict the river will remain high at least into August.
The river is expected to rise more than 5 to 7 feet above flood stage in most of Nebraska and Iowa and as much as 10 feet over flood stage in parts
of Missouri. Any significant rain could worsen the flooding especially if it falls in Nebraska, Iowa or Missouri, which are downstream of the
That doesn't sound very promising.....