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Kimmswick

Trees along Leonor K Sullivan Boulevard are seen surrounded by rising water on Tuesday as the Mississippi River reaches a near-record height.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

While water levels are beginning to drop along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, heavy flooding has led to the closure of many roads leading into small river towns and nearly 100 miles of the Katy Trail.

This time of year, John Benz’s campground along Highway 94 in Rhineland is normally packed with Katy Trail bike riders. But, flooding from the Missouri River led to the cancellation of the annual Katy Trail Ride and the closure of the highway. As a result, Benz said business has been down about 90%.

May 29, 2019 Workers shore up a temporary levee across Main Street in Grafton. The river had reached 32 feet, on its way to a projected crest of 36.3 feet, which would be the second highest on record and less than two feet below the record set in 1993.
Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

Towns along the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers have closed levees, evacuated downtowns and started sandbagging to hold rising floodwaters at bay. Weather experts say the communities will see some of the highest flood levels recorded since the Great Flood of '93.

Despite the flooding, some Missouri and Illinois towns remain open along the river — and their mayors said they hope tourism and community support will help their towns recover from the disasters.

Kaci Dalton helped residents fill sandbags on Starling Airport Road in Arnold in May 2017.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Civic leaders along the Mississippi River are bracing for near-record flood levels in the coming days and weeks.

Mayors in Missouri and Illinois say federal programs that aim to prevent flood damage need more funding to adequately support river towns that face evacuation and income loss.

Flooding in Alton is expected to crest next week at 35.2 feet, the fifth-highest flood level on record, according to the National Weather Service. The river at Grafton is expected to reach the fourth-highest flood level on record for the city. River levels at both Illinois towns are expected to exceed levees and rise within 10 feet of historic levels reached during the Great Flood of ’93.

Owners of the Delta Queen hope to have the historic steamboat cruising again in 2020.
Photo courtesy of Delta Queen Steamboat Company

The historic Delta Queen steamboat could be cruising the Mississippi River and other inland waterways in 2020, now that it has received an exemption from federal safety regulations that kept it from making overnight excursions. But first, its owners must secure about $12 million for renovations to make the vessel riverworthy again.

On Dec. 4, President Donald Trump signed into law an exemption that allows the wooden steamboat to operate, despite a 1966 safety regulation that requires such vessels to be constructed of noncombustible materials.

Discussions with potential investors hinged on that exemption and are now moving full speed ahead, said Cornel Martin, president of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company.

The Delta Queen is currently docked in Houma, Louisiana.
Photo provided by Delta Queen Steamboat Company

Legislation that would enable the owners of the Delta Queen to return the historic steamboat to cruise service on the Mississippi River has been reintroduced by Missouri’s U.S. senators.

Apple butter feast in Kimmswick

Oct 26, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 26, 2010 - Visitors are nothing new for Kimmswick.

This century-and-a-half-old Jefferson County river town of just 92 residents always has a few extra faces around this time of year - about 100,000 of them, in fact.

Art, apples, flea markets -- it must be autumn

Oct 22, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 22, 2008 - Thanks to two of the area's most popular fall events -- ARTstravaganza and Kimmswick's Apple Butter Festival -- art and apples have become synonymous with fall in St. Louis.