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Health, Science, Environment

Rising River Threatens Areas North Of St. Louis

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.

Recent heavy rainfall across Iowa and Northern Illinois is driving river levels above flood stages near numerous river communities including Quincy, Hannibal, Clarksville, and Winfield.  Water levels are expected to rise several feet above flood stage with the latest projections putting the river at 5 to 8 feet over flood stage in some areas.

As a precaution, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has shut Lock and Dam 24 in Clarksville and activated its Emergency Operations Center in St. Louis. AmeriCorps St. Louis sent an emergency response team to Clarksville Thursday morning to support flood-fighting efforts along the Mississippi. Canton and Hannibal have also installed flood gates for the first time this season and, in St. Charles County, the Division of Emergency Management is coordinating with several agencies to protect residents, and their homes and businesses.

According to National Weather Service Hydrologist Mark Fuchs, more rain this month could inundate a larger area north of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers confluence.

"People are nervous up and down the river and they should be. We're talking about a significant, high crest across much of those areas north of the confluence. And, if any of the events coming down the road in July provide anything comparable in terms of rainfall amounts, this could truly be the beginning of an historic event."

The St. Louis area is less susceptible to flooding due to the increased capacity of where the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers meet, said Fuchs.

A Flood Warning for communities along the Mississippi River has been issued through the middle of next week. 

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