Dreaded Muskrats Destroy Missouri Town
They’ve been sandbagging in Winfield, Missouri for weeks knowing that it was just a matter of time before flood waters from Iowa would reach this small town north of St. Louis.
But as the people of Winfield were sandbagging, they did not see who was working against them digging through the levee walls.
The dreaded river rats dug through the levees in Winfield, Missouri. (Flickr)
Muskrats had burrowed into the levee walls causing the structures to weaken.
Early Friday morning the levees broke and Winfield, Missouri was destroyed.
The River Front Times reported:
Muskrat holes weakened a Mississippi River levee on Friday, allowing floodwaters to pour into Lincoln County, Missouri, just north of St. Louis, officials said.
Sheriff’s deputies alerted residents to evacuate, yelling “get out, the levee broke” as they went door-to-door in the affected areas, according to an Associated Press report.
Winfield resident Debbie Halcomb, 52, heard warning sirens and knew that her worst fears were realized, the AP reported.
“I was hoping it would hold, but it didn’t,” the AP quoted Halcomb as saying. “I think we probably lost it on this last bunch of rain.”
Though overnight rains were reported in the area, officials said at a Friday morning news conference that muskrats looking for food or making dens had dug into the earthen levee, weakening it enough that nature took care of the rest.
“Until this morning, we felt our progress was successful and would hold the water back,” said Andy Binder, public information officer for Lincoln County. “However, Mother Nature’s priorities were apparently different.”
The weakened levees could not withstand the pressure from the floodwaters. (KSDK)
Here’s video of the destruction in Winfield, Missouri north of St. Louis:
It really is a horrible disaster.
Governor Matt Blunt visited the community on Friday.