Levees in northern Missouri breeched, overtopped

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BIG LAKE, Mo. (AP) -- Several levees in northern Missouri are failing to hold back the surge of water being released from upstream dams.

Authorities said water began pouring over levees Saturday night in Holt and Atchison counties, flooding farmland and numerous homes and cabins. A hole in the side of a Holt County levee continued to grow Sunday, deluging the recreational area of Big Lake.

Presiding Holt County commissioner Mark Sitherwood says water is seeping underneath levees in numerous spots, too.

U.S. 159 is closed south of Big Lake because water is flowing over the road.

Sitherwood says most people evacuated in advance of the flooding. The Big Lake area has experienced flooding in three of the last five years, but Sitherwood says this year promises to be much worse.