ST. LOUIS — The Mississippi River has breached the Pin Oak levee in Winfield. The river is a little over a foot shy of the record set back in 1993.
The view Monday morning from Sky5 showed floodwaters all over Winfield. It was difficult to even pinpoint where the Pin Oak levee once stood.
The flooding has damaged or destroyed several homes, businesses, and properties in the area.
"Right now, we are in rescue mode,” Winfield-Foley Fire Protection District Assistant Fire Chief Aaron Lee said. “We are trying to use all our resources to help people that need rescue.”
Floodwaters started going over the top of the levee shortly after midnight Sunday. By 4:30 p.m., the levee had been breached.
Aerial video posted by the Winfield Police Department on Facebook showed a large breach in the levee with water rushing through the gap. Floodwaters also continue to flow over the top of several sections of the levee.
The Lincoln County Emergency Management posted an urgent update on Facebook early Sunday urging residents in the area to evacuate immediately.
‘PIN OAKS LEVEE OVERTOPPED: If you live in an area protected by the Pin Oaks Levee (the City of Winfield east of Highway 79, Pin Oaks Farm Drive, etc.) you should evacuate your home now. The Mississippi River is coming over the top of the levee, and structures within the area normally protected by the Pin Oaks Levee will be flooded,’ the post on Facebook read.
Emergency management officials re-issued evacuation warnings Sunday afternoon as soon as the levee breached for anyone who might still be in the area.
As of Sunday night, there were no injuries or water rescues, according to the Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency.
The Winfield Police Department said the East Walnut crossing closed Sunday afternoon. The only entrance in and out of the east side of the city is the E. Cherry Street crossing. The department said only verified residents would be allowed to enter East Winfield.
Volunteers worked earlier in the week to build up the levee. Volunteers filled up thousands of sandbags to put along the levee. They also built a plywood wall to go along the lower parts of the structure.
The levee protects about 40 homes in the Winfield area.
The Mississippi River near Winfield was at 38.49 feet as of 8:45 p.m. Monday. The record is 39.6 feet set back in 1993. Flood stage is at 26 feet.
The National Weather Service forecast has the river cresting at 38.5 feet at about 7 p.m. Monday and staying at that level for about 24 hours before starting to recede.
The river in Winfield is expected to stay at or above major flood stage through at least June 13, according to Lincoln County Emergency Management.
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