Severe threats of flooding have prompted Federal officials to order a levee to be blasted open in Missouri, and forced a mayor in Illinois to evacuate an entire town.
According to FOX News, Army engineers intentionally broke the Birds Point levee to ease pressure on certain residential areas. However, the break sent a wall of water over 130,000 acres of farmland in Missouri.
This past weekend, Judson Childs, mayor of Cairo, Ill., ordered the city's residents to evacuate after record rainfall led to "sand boils" along the flood walls. According to the New York Daily News, sand boils occur when water penetrates under levees and begins seeping up through the soil behind them.
Torrential rainfall can threaten residential neighborhoods, especially those located near large bodies of water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says that the best self-survival tip for residents is to evacuate in the event of a potential levee break.
However, in some cases, individuals do not have the time or resources to leave their homes in safety. In those cases, the agency recommends that people move to the highest floor in the home, preferably an attic.
Although residents are advised to turn off all utilities and electrical appliances to prepare for a flood, FEMA warns that this equipment should not be touched if a person is wet or while standing in water.