Rivers start to drop, but flood crisis isn’t over yet

Rivers start to drop, but flood crisis isn't over yet

ST. LOUIS — River levels are falling after record and near-record flooding in parts of the Midwest, but the crisis is far from over.

Downpours that dumped up to a foot of rain in parts of the nation’s midsection last weekend led to the sudden surge of water. Flooding is blamed in at least nine deaths, and an 18-month-old Arkansas girl swept away by floodwater is missing and presumed dead. Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois.

A steady rain that began Wednesday continued Thursday. The National Weather Service said the additional water — up to 4 inches of rain in some areas — shouldn’t cause rivers to rise higher, but will prolong the flood.

Major flooding is occurring on the Missouri River in eastern Missouri and the Mississippi River in Missouri and Illinois. A Mississippi River bridge at Chester, Illinois, will close at noon Thursday because flood gates on the Missouri side will block the bridge entrance.

City officials in tiny West Alton, Missouri, about 20 miles north of St. Louis, urged residents to get out of town amid concerns the Missouri River levee there could break.

The worst of the damage was along smaller rivers.

The Black River that runs from southeast Missouri into northeast Arkansas was down after cresting at record levels earlier this week in places such as Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and Pocahontas, Arkansas. But the mess left behind was substantial. A levee breach near Pocahontas on Wednesday prompted several water rescues.

The Meramec River in suburban St. Louis also is on the decline. A levee at Valley Park, Missouri, is holding, as is a sandbag levee consisting of 250,000 bags in nearby Eureka. But the river remains dangerously high, and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar urged patience for evacuated residents anxious to get back home.

Hundreds of roads across the four states remain closed, including a busy stretch of Interstate 44 in suburban St. Louis.

Traffic is even closed on the Mississippi River. The U.S. Coast Guard late Tuesday closed a 14.5-mile stretch of the river near St. Louis, blocking a vital passageway for moving agricultural goods and other products.

Jim Salter, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Dumping at Shaw Road “disgusting”

CSRD praises volunteers, wants illegal dumpers prosecuted

Sicamous pulls out of CSRD economic committee

District launches its own economic development corporation on Jan. 1, 2018

Controlled burns taking place across Okanagan

That smoke you see on Okanagan hillsides is supposed to be there

Slideshow: Shuswap Stars sparkle on the dance floor

Stunning choreography raises funds for new chalet at Larch Hills

Big White to send off Olympians in style

Okanagan ski resort picked as location for official send-off of Canada’s 2018 Winter Olympic team

Video: Shuswap stars shine for Larch Hills

Competitors dance to the tune of $30,000 for the chalet expansion

Serious home invasion reported in Kamloops

Two people are in hospital with serious injuries following a home invasion

Cash donations create purchasing power

Salvation Army and food banks stretch a donated dollar a long way

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Silver Star opens Thursday

Vernon’s ski hill has plenty of snow and plenty of fun packed for opening weekend

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Most Read