Water Patrol Watches and Waits

9 years 4 months 2 weeks ago May 13, 2007 May 13, 2007 Sunday, May 13 2007 Sunday, May 13, 2007 10:05:59 PM CDT in News

KOMU's Reed Erickson caught up with the water patrol Sunday afternoon.

The ground is slipping in flooded areas because the levees are becoming saturated and thats a big concern for everyone protected by its banks.

Just off Highway M, the ground is mostly dry, but watchful eyes are nervous it might not stay that way.

"On some of the Levees we're starting to see some slippage of that dirt and stuff on the levees," explained Lt. Ralph Bledsoe.

Officers with the Missouri Water Patrol are very familiar with the power of the states' waterways.

When water is out of control they offer their help to local officials.

"When these sheriffs have the flooding such as we're having in Chariton County that we're experiencing right now the Sheriff gets on the telephone and calls the water patrol and we send the resources he needs to take care of the problems he may be experiencing, " said Bledsoe.

For now the Missouri Water Patrol are more or less on standby, but they're got their unique resources like these shallow boats ready should local law enforcement or local people need help.

This week water already broke through several different levees the first on Thursday.

"The levee did break behind me here, also it did crest the levee in three different spots," said Robert Plumley with the Water Patrol, another on Friday.

Farmers looking at their lost land say it took only four hours before all the low area was flooded.

With the possibility of more breaks, the water patrol say they'll stay as long as they're needed.

"We're just a telephone call away from them and we can respond as quickly as we can and be there because we know that in many cases the response is very important, you need a quick response, because if they're calling you, they need you," Bledsoe said.

Water patrol officers typicaly pack for a 5 to 7 day trip to disaster zones.

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