The Latest: Mandatory evacuation issued for Missouri floods

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Officials have issued a mandatory evacuation order for some residents of a central Missouri county where the Missouri River has topped a levee …

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The Latest on flooding in the United States (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

Officials have issued a mandatory evacuation order for some residents of a central Missouri county where the Missouri River has topped a levee.

KRCG reports Howard County emergency management co-director Bill John said the levee near Petersburg is expected to fail soon.

The evacuation includes residents in Franklin, New Franklin and a stretch along Highway 5 from the Boonville Bridge to New Franklin. The zone essentially covers the Missouri River bottom from Petersburg to Rocheport.

The Red Cross is opening a shelter at the Open Bible Praise Center in Boonville for affected residents.

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11:45 a.m.

Amtrak says flooding is forcing it to suspend service between St. Louis and Fort Worth, Texas, until June 7.

Amtrak officials said in a news release Friday that flooding has diverted freight train traffic onto tracks used by the passenger train service.

Service between Chicago and St. Louis and between San Antonio and Fort Worth will continue as usual.

No substitute transportation is available other than the scheduled Trinity Railway Express commuter train service between Fort Worth and Dallas, which is ticketed separately.

Some tickets are available for those willing to travel alternate routes between Illinois or Missouri and Texas using the Amtrak Southwest Chief and the Amtrak Heartland Flyer.

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10:45 a.m.

Northeastern Oklahoma residents forced from their homes by flooding along the turbulent Arkansas River are making plans to return as the river recedes.

Emergency management officials in Tulsa, Oklahoma, says they are seeking volunteers wearing boots and heavy leather work gloves to help residents remove debris and clean up their flooded homes.

The National Weather Service said Friday the river’s level at Tulsa has dropped almost 4 feet from Wednesday’s crest and will continue to recede through the weekend. Forecasters say river levels were also dropping in Muskogee, Oklahoma, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a hydroelectric dam at a reservoir northwest of Tulsa has reduced flow as the reservoir drains floodwaters from recent heavy rainfall, aiding the river’s decline.

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10:25 a.m.

Emergency management officials say it will be days, if not longer, before the full extent of damage is known from the historic flooding now affecting Arkansas’ second-largest city.

The Arkansas River remained steady at about 40.5 feet (12.3 meters) in Fort Smith on Friday. That’s 18 feet (5.5 meters) above flood stage, and many areas remain underwater .

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it won’t be able to assess damage until the waters recede. The latest forecast from the National Weather Service shows the river at major flood stage through at least next week.

Meanwhile, authorities say a deteriorating levee in nearby Crawford County was holding strong Friday morning.

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9:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump has declared an emergency in Arkansas, which has been hit by historic flooding.

The White House said late Thursday night that Trump approved the emergency disaster declaration requested by the state, where hundreds of homes and thousands of acres of farmland have been affected by flooding along the Arkansas River. Trump’s declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance for emergency protective measures in Arkansas, Chicot, Conway, Crawford, Desha, Faulkner, Franklin, Jefferson, Johnson, Lincoln, Logan, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Sebastian, and Yell counties.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson earlier this week had requested the emergency declaration in response to the flooding.

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6:10 a.m.

Officials say a levee along the Arkansas River has breached, prompting an evacuation of a rural area in the western part of the state.

The levee breached early Friday at Dardanelle, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock. Yell County officials had anticipated the breach and urged residents in the nearby Holla Bend area to evacuate Thursday.

Little Rock television station KATV reports that water was rushing through the levee Friday.

National Weather Service data showed a dip in the water level at Dardanelle, likely due to the breach. A flash flood warning was issued early Friday for the area, and forecasters said residents should be prepared for rapidly rising water.

The levee breached because of ongoing flooding along the Arkansas River, which began in Oklahoma.

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