Up The Mississippi River, Alton, Quincy and Hannibal Deal With Flooding | St. Louis Public Radio

Up The Mississippi River, Alton, Quincy and Hannibal Deal With Flooding

Apr 22, 2013

Just north of St. Louis, the city of Alton is bracing for the flooded Mississippi River to crest soon.

According to the National Weather Service, the river is expected to crest at about 30 feet on Tuesday -- nine feet above flood stage -- and remain near that level until Thursday.

Matt Asselmeier from Alton Mayor Tom Hoescht's office says they've filled more than 2,000 sand bags in preparation.

"We're keeping pretty good paper trails, just in case the Governor's office asks that this be declared a national disaster," Asselmeier said. "We're keeping track of everything we spend so we can be reimbursed appropriately."

Asselmeier says so far there has not been a lot of damage, and only a few roads are closed. Madison County, which includes Alton, has issued a Proclamation of Disaster order to expedite support for the area.

Just farther north, Quincy is also dealing with flooding. Although the river crested there on Sunday, the area could receive another inch of rain on Tuesday.

At Quincy, the Mississippi crested at about 27 feet - 10 feet above the flood stage.

Doug Wilson has been covering the story for the Quincy Herald-Whig, and says the biggest concern is the waste water treatment plant losing power.

"Right now they are trying to figure out is if they can repair 18 to 20 pumps, which would be costly, or replace which would be even more costly," Wilson said.

Quincy is likely to receive even more rain. Wilson says he expects a federal designation of disaster, which would help the city and state deal with the costs of cleanup and flood-fighting.

In Hannibal, the Mississippi River stood at 26.5 feet on Monday afternoon. That's down from the crest of 27.63 feet on Sunday. Flood stage in Hannibal is 16 feet. The record high river level was almost 32 feet back in 1993.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel