Flooding Forces Evacuations; Shelter Set Up

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KAIT) -- In the northern part of Region 8 residents are dealing with some pretty heavy flooding.  Some people along the Black River are being asked to leave their homes and go to a shelter set up in Poplar Bluff.

But for some, the need to stay and protect what is theirs is stronger than the need for safety.

"All these houses up through here and all of these people right here live in them.  They volunteered to come up here and build this levee.  We're trying to get it up fast so at least if it's going to break it will do it up in Arkansas," said Rowdy Boyer.

Rowdy Boyer and his neighbors are building onto the levee to try to fill in what just last week was the road.

"If this levee breaks it will keep rising and comes over the top of it, it's going to wash the levee out and it's going to flood the houses all the way to 53 highway," said Boyer.

While some say they won't leave, others have had no choice.  Tammy Sutton and her family were forced from their home by rising water early Wednesday morning.

"When it first happened it didn't seem serious.  I wasn't really scared until it kept rising," said Sutton.

Now, she and her family are at the Black River Coliseum where a shelter is set up.  Other families are arriving to what for the foreseeable future will be their home.

"I haven't had any sleep.  We don't have any clean clothes it definitely is nothing like home," said Cassie Staggs.

There's only about a dozen or so evacuees in the shelter but they say by the end of the night on Wednesday they expect about 120 people to be in here.

"This is the first time I have ever been in a shelter so I appreciate it," said Dora Ward.