Forecasters examine variables of rising Missouri River

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The flooding has all but blocked access to some small communities along the river, where potable drinking water has become scarce as the flood has contaminated wells, Wight said. After that, river flooding will be a big concern by the end of the week and weekend.

Moderate flooding is expected along the Tittabawassee River in Midland County when it crests around 27 feet on Saturday morning. At 20.0 feet, limited evacuations may begin in residential areas of Adel along with extensive sandbagging.

Officials in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska were urging people not to drive unless necessary.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued for neighborhoods around the city of Fremont in eastern Nebraska on Saturday, after a levee along the Platte river was breached amidst continued serious flooding. In its wake, he said, water was "rising swiftly". The flood stage at Kansas City is 32 feet.

The National Weather Service said the Missouri River at St. Joseph reached almost 26 feet on Saturday, about a foot below what's considered major flooding at the northwest Missouri city.

Officials are confident that the flooding around the plant presents no danger to the public, power district spokesman Mark Becker said. Video from the Nebraska State Patrol shows cattle stranded on islands after floodwaters cut off their escape.

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The plant is in Brownville, about 60 miles south of Omaha, and is already functioning under emergency circumstances.

Flooding is also common if somewhat less widespread in parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and South Dakota in particular. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem opened that state's emergency operations center and said an emergency declaration was being prepared.

Water is at the top of the federal levee on the Iowa side and is inches from overtopping the "super berm" built to protect Highway 2 between Nebraska City and Interstate 29.

The storm also spawned at least three tornadoes in MI and in on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Homes were reported damaged, while power was knocked out to thousands.

Other variables include relocation of water by a dam breach or increased flow from a dam releasing more water upstream.

Flooding is also common across Iowa, with numerous roads statewide closed.