KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Several levees in northern Missouri were failing Sunday to hold back the surge of water being released from upstream dams.

Authorities said water began pouring over levees Saturday night and Sunday morning 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 state park and recreational area of Big Lake, a community of less than 200 people located 78 miles north of Kansas City.

Jud Kneuvean, chief of emergency management for the Kansas City District, said the Missouri River dipped by almost one foot after the Big Lake breach but that the water level started to rise again by Sunday afternoon.

The Nebraska Public Power District issued a flooding alert Sunday for its Cooper nuclear power plant near Brownville, Neb., as the Missouri River continues to rise. The declaration is the least serious of four emergency notifications established by the federal commission.

The plant was operating Sunday at full capacity, and there was no threat to plant employees or to the public, said Mark Becker, a spokesman for the Columbus, Neb.-based utility.