West Alton residents urged to evacuate ahead of controlled release of water

WEST ALTON, Mo. - Missouri Governor Mike Parson has activated the National Guard to help with flooding dangers and the clean-up from last week's tornadoes.

Officials urged people in West Alton to leave their homes as they began a controlled release of water from the Mississippi River into a natural spillway east of Highway 67.

Workers have begun to remove sandbags Monday night to relieve pressure on area levees. The release is to minimize damage to the levee system as the Mississippi River is expected to crest at 37 feet.

Rivers Point Fire Chief Rick Pender says this was necessary because the expected river crest would be too high for the already saturated levees to hold back.

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