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People spend another day sandbagging near Meramec River

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Julie Bierach, KWMU
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Floodwaters engulf portions of Eureka High School.

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis – Those who live along the Meramac River southwest of St. Louis are spending another day filling sandbags and moving their belongings in preparation for what could be historic flooding.

Hundreds of volunteers have been piling sandbags and putting up barricades to get ready for the river to reach record levels Saturday. Fenton Mayor Dennis Hancock is asking for even more volunteers.

The Meramac is rising after heavy rains left more than a dozen people dead across the Midwest, including five in Missouri.

Hundreds of families around the state have evacuated their homes.

The St. Louis suburb of Valley Park is protected by a flood levee completed in 2005, but the projected 40-foot-crest there could reach within three feet of the top of the levee.

In southern Missouri, Butler County emergency responders rescued 36 residents of the low-lying Coon Island area Thursday after a breach in a levee along the Black River.

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder said he was reminded of the flood of 1993 when he flew over the Cape Girardeau area and described what he saw as "a vast inland sea."

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