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113 Rescued After Levee Breaks at Louisiana Mud Festival

by Alex Johnson /
IMAGE: Louisiana levee break
A structure under water Sunday after a private levee broke in Colfax, Louisiana, during the Louisiana Mudfest on Saturday night.NBC NEWS CHANNEL

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More than 110 people were rescued after a levee broke early Sunday in Colfax, Louisiana, during an annual mud festival.

No one was injured when the levee — which was built privately to protect the local recreational area from rising Red River floodwaters during this spring's historic storms — breached about 2 a.m. during the Louisiana Mudfest. Scores of truck and all-terrain vehicles enthusiasts converge on Colfax every June for the festival, which bills itself as "One of the Wildest Parties in the South."

Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain told NBC station KALB of Alexandria that a deputy working security Saturday night noticed a crack in the levee and began moving people to higher ground. Within moments, the levee breached, and the Red River began flowing into the festival, he said.

IMAGE: Louisiana levee break
A structure under water Sunday after a private levee broke in Colfax, Louisiana, during the Louisiana Mudfest on Saturday night.NBC NEWS CHANNEL

In total, 113 people and three dogs were rescued from the area by deputies, National Guard forces and state Wildlife and Fisheries agents between 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.

"All their four-wheelers, ATVs and UTVs and cars and trucks are up on this high hill, and it's basically like a small island, including one of our own," McCain told KALB. "The sheriff's office vehicle is trapped on this high island, and it's going to be there until the river goes down, which may be a long time."

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