Missouri River levees expected to be overtopped

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Flooding in Kingfisher, Okla. is pictured Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Flooding following heavy rains was an issue across the state. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Recent rains are creating new flooding risks along the Missouri River.

The Army Corps of Engineers says about 50 levees in Missouri could be overtopped by Saturday, May 25, as high water levels move downstream. Most of the threatened area is farmland.

Recent storms in the central U.S. are also causing flooding woes in Kansas and Oklahoma.

The Missouri River is expected to crest Thursday, May 23, at 36.1 feet near the town of Glasgow, Missouri, overtopping agricultural levees and inundating some homes, highways, and parkland.

The National Weather Service has warned of moderate flooding in several other river towns.

The river has been flooding off and on since March, breaching dozens of levees and causing billions of dollars of damage to farmland, homes, and businesses across the Midwest.

More Oklahoma residents are being encouraged to evacuate because of expected flooding that’s also prompted concerns in Missouri and Kansas.

Authorities on Wednesday encouraged people living along the Arkansas River in the Tulsa suburb of Bixby and low-lying areas near creeks both north and south of Okmulgee, about 35 miles south of Tulsa to leave their homes.

Residents in the Tulsa suburb of Sand Springs; Fort Gibson, about 50 miles southwest of Tulsa; and Webbers Falls, some 70 miles southeast of Tulsa, were advised earlier to evacuate because of flooding forecast on the Arkansas River.

Residents along the Cimarron River were evacuating as the riverbank eroded beneath their homes about 34 miles north of Oklahoma City.

Severe storms that have spawned tornadoes in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa, has also dropped up to 9 inches of rain on parts of Oklahoma during the past week. That’s caused many rivers and streams to overflow their banks.

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