Mississippi River

Water levels on the Mississippi River rise to flood stages underneath Eads Bridge.
Sarah Kellogg

On Thursday, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh led a discussion on the threat of flooding in the St. Louis area due to this year’s rainfall. Joining Marsh were Mark Fuchs, a service hydrologist for the National Weather Service, and Matthew Hunn, chief of emergency management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in St. Louis.

Water levels on the Mississippi River rise to flood stages underneath Eads Bridge.
Sarah Kellogg

Most of the major waterways in the St. Louis region have crested or are near their crests following the wettest June on record.  More than 13.1 inches of rain fell last month, nearly an inch more than the previous record set in 2003.

High water levels on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers are declining and the Missouri River at St. Charles is forecast to crest at about four feet above flood stage Saturday afternoon.

(via Flickr/clip works)

Updated at 6 p.m., Friday, June 19:

More than a week's worth of persistent rainfall is testing the region's system of levees and reservoirs

George Caleb Bingham painted 'The Jolly Flatboatmen' in 1846. The oil-on-canvas painting is part of the St. Louis Art Museum's Bingham exhibit.
Courtesy of the St. Louis Art Museum

A new exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum tackles the personal interests of a Missouri painter known for his depictions of 19th century elections and politics.

“They are the most spectacular paintings he did,” said Melissa Wolfe, the new curator of American art at the museum.

trains, freight trains
(Flicker)

Civic and business leaders say the St. Louis region has to be ready to capitalize on an expected increase in freight across the United States.

It was the topic of conversation at the St. Louis Regional Transportation Forum on Thursday in Collinsville.

"St. Louis stands in a very good position to expand its capabilities, expand our economy and expand our jobs in the St. Louis region," said John Nations, president and CEO of the Bi-State Development Agency/Metro.

George Caleb Bingham, Jolly Flatboatmen in Port, St. Louis Public Radio
Provided by the St. Louis Art Museum

At a press briefing this morning, Director Brent Benjamin stressed the museum’s dedication to providing exhibits that highlight St. Louis’ influence on national and international arts. The shows for 2015 draw from Missouri-based collectors, artists and designers.

Gayle Harper

When author and photographer Gayle Harper learned that it takes 90 days for a raindrop to travel from the Mississippi River’s headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico, she knew she had a new project: Follow the path of that raindrop.

That path became a book, “Roadtrip with a Raindrop: 90 Days Along the Mississippi,” full of photos and a series of vignettes. Along the way, Harper said she found that there’s something special about life on the river.

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Flooding along the upper Mississippi River is affecting navigation, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"High river levels have forced us to close two of our locks and dams. Lock and Dam 24 and 25 are both closed right now," said Mike Peterson, chief of public affairs.

"But there’s not a lot of river navigation going on along the upper river right now because upstream of us there is a whole lot of closed locks and dams."

Flood crests on the Mississippi are expected over the next week, but Peterson is not expecting much higher levels.

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Flooding on the Mississippi River continues to make its way south from Iowa, putting towns from Quincy to Grafton on alert.

With historic buildings, a post office and a dozen homes all in the path of the flood, Clarksville, Mo., 75 miles north of St. Louis, has more to lose than most.

Flooding near Clarksville in 2008
St. Louis Beacon file photo

The National Weather Service is forecasting major flooding along stretches of the Mississippi River north of St. Louis early next week. A map on its site is regularly updated with river stages.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

A major river commerce group endorsed a plan Tuesday to increase container-on-barge traffic on the Mississippi River. 

The Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals Association supports shipping goods in containers on barges up and down the Mississippi River. That’s seen as an alternative to using trucks or rail. The group made the announcement at its annual conference in St. Louis.

(Flickr/The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The Mississippi River, one of the hallmarks of American landscape, is no longer the expansive, grand river it once was. Decades of constructing levees, dams and other systems for managing floods have whittled it down to a series of pools, dramatically altering its ecosystem. 

Missisissippi River Has Inspired Art For Generations

Dec 6, 2013

I just finished reading Paul Schneider's, "The Mississippi River in North American History." What a great read and what an amazing river. Cultures and entire civilizations have left their mark along this incredible waterway. We can view art and artifacts of the people living in and around the Mississippi now and those that perished thousands of years ago and throughout the ages in our arts and cultural institutions.

www.nationalatlas.gov/streamer

From transporting Native Americans to the founding of the United States and beyond, the Mississippi River is an integral part of American history.

In his new book, Old Man River: The Mississippi River in North American History, author Paul Schneider weaves together all of these stories and more to tell the greater story of a continent formed and transformed by a river which both divides and unites.

(via U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

A new report by a coalition of conservation and public interest groups representing the Upper Mississippi River basin is calling on Congress to reform the way it manages the river.

 According to the report, transportation infrastructure on the Mississippi River is the most heavily subsidized private transportation industry in the nation. 

(Chris McDaniel/St. Louis Public Radio)

Developing Story, will be updated

Updated at 10:35 a.m. Thursday, June 6:

MSD says the Mississippi River has dropped enough to turn the pumps back on at Watkins Creek, ending the discharge of untreated wastewater into the river. The agency is asking that residents continue to avoid floodwaters in the area of the station, which is in the 11000 block of Riverview in Spanish Lake.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. with information from MSD:

Andrew Wamboldt/KOMU News - via Flickr

A storm system that's dropping snow on the western half of the state will bring up to four inches of rain to the St. Louis area by Sunday.

But don't expect much in the way of flash flooding, says National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs.

"We're not necessarily expecting flash flooding in the classic sense - where you see a very quick rising water coming down the stream," Fuchs said. "But with that being said, there will be some roads in poor drainage areas that could go underwater."

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Coast Guard is assessing the environmental impact of roughly 300 gallons of crude oil it says spilled into the Mississippi River after more than a dozen barges briefly broke free near Alton, Ill.

The Coast Guard says a vessel hit an area where barges are docked on the river about 1 a.m. this morning, causing 14 to break away from their moorings. Those barges then hit another barge loading crude oil, which caused the spill of about seven barrels (300gallons) worth of oil.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Two freshman Congressmen from southern Illinois want the Army Corps of Engineers to start thinking of ways it can coordinate management of the Mississippi River to keep cargo traffic flowing during droughts or floods.

"The bill would have the Corps treat the entire drainage system as one entity," said Democrat Bill Enyart, a co-sponsor along with Republican Rodney Davis. "How do you balance someone getting to go boating against being able to get barges full of soybeans and corn out to feed the world? As it stands today, we can't balance those."

(via Flickr/roberthuffstutter)

The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that 13 coal barges became dislodged from their tow vessel near Cape Girardeau on Sunday morning, three of which partially sank into the Mississippi. So, what happened?

Most of the 25 barges were soon accounted for after the vessel struck an object around 10:30 a.m. At this time, it is still not clear what that object was.

The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge at Cape Girardeau was closed for a little more than one hour as a precaution, but it was not struck.

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