Water is overtopping levees in Lincoln County

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WINFIELD, Mo. – The water proved too much for the Winfield levee. Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Jim Sharp was notified of overtopping Friday morning. It was not a breach or a failure; the levee itself was still holding.

“We’ll be up all night watching,” Sharp said.

The director said there are five places the Winfield levee was being overtopped by the Mississippi River, all in about a quarter-mile stretch. He said it’s almost a certainty homes will be flooded; there is simply more river than levee.

“If you’ve not taken steps and you live between Highway 79 and the river, if you’ve not taken steps already to either get yourself out of harm’s way or protect your property, now is the time to do that,” Sharp said.

That’s just what was happening farther north in the town of Foley. People were moving appliances, possessions, and anything of value out of their homes. If predictions hold true, they fear close to two feet of water will soon be inside their residences.

They said it’s too late to start sandbagging.

“It is exhausting,” said resident Heather Lemon. “We spent most of last night packing. We caught about four hours of sleep. We got up and started again.”

And in Elsberry, volunteers have filled more than 7,000 sandbags in the last two days; they were obviously tired and said they could use some help. Up and down the river, people are nervous.

“It kind of worries me about how much time we have to get out and pack,” said resident Kyle Foust.

Lincoln County Emergency Management is pleading with people to turn around and not drown when they encounter flooded roads. They’re also asking that flood sightseers stay away.

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