More Mississippi breaches likely as weather worsens

FOR the second time in 15 years, Keith Aubuchon found himself packing his belongings and evacuating his home to escape a “100-year” flood of the Mississippi River.

He returned and remodelled his house after the flood of 1993. This time, he doesn’t know if it will be worth coming back.

“This is my second flood. I don’t think there will be a third,” Aubuchon said as he drove a pickup truck loaded with a washing machine and other belongings. Floodwaters rapidly filled the roads, yards and gullies behind him, just hours after a levee breached north of Foley. Authorities estimate much of the small town will be flooded over the weekend.

Three Mississippi River levees broke on Thursday in Lincoln County, sending a creeping wave of water toward Foley and causing more concern in nearby Winfield.

The river was overflowing 90% of the levees in eastern Lincoln County, and at least four more breaches were expected to aggravate the flooding overnight, said Lincoln County Emergency Management spokesman, Andy Binder.

The weather might not help, with forecasters predicting showers and scattered thunderstorms in Missouri and Iowa, where residents are mopping up after the deluge in Des Moines and Iowa City.

President George W Bush was in Iowa to survey the flood’s aftermath and assured residents and rescuers alike that he is listening to their concerns.

“Obviously, to the extent we can help immediately, we will help,” said Bush, still mindful of criticism that the government reacted slowly to Hurricane Katrina three years ago. “You’ll come back better,” he said.


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