Freaking out, residents pack up after river bursts through levee in Eastern Mo.

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WEST ALTON, Mo. — The raging Mississippi River has people in Missouri on the run, seeking higher and drier ground.

The river has ripped through a levee in West Alton, and water is gushing through the opening.

Alton, Mo. is about 30 minutes north of St. Louis and sits close to the river.

“Freaking out. I have a whole new respect for people who live near flood plains or levees,” said Robin Surdyke, who has lived in West Alton, Mo. for only about a year. “It’s a totally different feeling that I ever had.”

The family moved possessions from the basement to a higher floor and they loaded the brand new backyard swimming pool into a pickup truck.

About 40 homes could be impacted by the flood waters. Some of them have been through it before.

“It’s part of living near the river,” one said.

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