Waterlogged Levee Under Pressure From Mississippi

WINFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A passing boat or a wayward muskrat could spell the difference in one Missouri county’s last stand against the Mississippi River.

The next few days will tell the tale as Lincoln County tries to keep the saturated Pin Oak levee in one piece. It’s the only earthen berm in the county that hasn’t failed. At stake are 100 houses, a city park, several businesses and 3,000 acres of farmland in Winfield.

It’s is one of the last areas where the river is expected to crest Wednesday. But the peak flow is expected to continue for several days, about 11 feet above flood stage.

Officials say something like a 2-inch wake from a passing boat could be enough to tip the scales.

And workers spent nearly six hours on Monday choking off a leak caused by a muskrat burrowing in the soft ground.