The Latest: Officials in southwest Missouri want FEMA buyout

AP News
|
Posted: Jan 04, 2016 2:08 PM
The Latest: Officials in southwest Missouri want FEMA buyout

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

12:40 p.m.

Officials in southwest Missouri want federal officials to help buy out property owners in a flood-prone area.

At issue is flooding along the Spring River, which was among the waterways to overflow after recent heavy rains. Last week, notices were posted on 20 homes warning that no rebuilding will be allowed until Jasper County assesses the property.

Presiding Jasper County Commissioner John Bartosh says the county would like to buy the land, raze the buildings or move mobile homes, and use the land as a park. The Joplin Globe (http://bit.ly/1RZOaCt) reports that the county unsuccessfully sought funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help cover buyout costs after 2007 flooding.

But Bartosh says the recent flooding was worse, with water getting up to the eaves in the houses.

___

12 p.m.

Illinois' state climatologist says December weather that brought flooding to parts of the state also made it the second-wettest December in recorded state history.

Climatologist Jim Angel said Monday that the statewide average precipitation for the month was 6.7 inches. That's 4 inches more than average but still well short of the 7.17 inches that fell in 1982. That was the wettest December in state history and occurred during an El Nino like this winter.

For the year the average precipitation was 48.49 inches. That's 8.53 more than average and the sixth-wettest year in state history.

Last month was also the warmest December on record for Illinois.

Angel said the statewide average temperature was 40.6 degrees. That is 10.7 degrees above the average.

___

11:50 a.m.

Inmates from the Illinois Department of Corrections have been helping fill sandbags along rivers in the state as floodwaters rise.

State officials say flood response efforts from the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield continued on Monday. They say inmates have worked nearly 8,200 hours and filled more than 125,000 sandbags so far. Two inmate crews were working Monday in Scott County, helping with the Big Swan Levee. Flooding started last month in Illinois and has left nine people dead.

Illinois emergency officials say the state is in contact with the National Weather Service, which reports that decreasing water levels on the Mississippi and Sangamon rivers. Meanwhile, waters are expected to rise on the Illinois River south of Peoria and on some locations along the Wabash River in southeastern Illinois.

___

11;20 a.m.

Hydrology experts say flooding along parts of the Illinois River in central Illinois will continue this week.

The National Weather Service says major flooding conditions persist on the river Monday in the city of Havana, about 45 miles southwest of Peoria. The flooding has spread south from Havana to the riverside towns of Beardstown, Meredosia, Valley City and Hardin near the Mississippi River.

A sandbag wall remains alongside the river in Peoria.

Flooding in recent weeks has killed nine people in Illinois. Steve Buan (BYOO'-an) with the weather service's North Central River Forecast Center says this is the third near-record flood in less than three years along the Illinois River.

Buan says he expects the river to crest on Wednesday or Thursday if rainfall forecasts hold at less than an inch. He says many levees in Illinois have failed.

___

10:40 a.m.

The tiny southeast Missouri town of Allenville remains isolated by floods, but residents are feeling better about their plight.

The Mississippi River reached a record level in Cape Girardeau County on Friday. The river water continues to encircle the roughly 45 homes in Allenville, where residents are getting around by boat.

But Cape Girardeau County emergency management director Richard Knaup says the water level is falling. Last week, he feared that several of the homes would be damaged, but only one took on water.

Knaup says levee breaks across the river in Illinois lowered the water level enough to keep most of Allenville's homes dry.

___

9:50 a.m.

Traffic is moving again on the Mississippi River at St. Louis, but with some restrictions.

The Mississippi rose quickly last week after more than 10 inches of rain fell in Missouri and Illinois, creating major flooding. The result was swift-moving water deemed too dangerous for barges and other vessels, prompting a 5-mile closure.

The U.S. Coast Guard allowed traffic to resume Sunday as floodwaters receded.

The Coast Guard says tow boats must maintain a minimum horsepower to be able to handle the currents. They're also being advised to remain in the center of the channel because the river remains high.

A long stretch of the Illinois River remains closed in Illinois. The river is still rising to near-record crests in several towns.