Towns south of St. Louis brace for Mississippi River flooding

ST. LOUIS - As flood-weary towns near St. Louis began to regroup from record high water, Mississippi River communities farther south braced for the peak of flooding that has already damaged hundreds of homes and businesses and killed nearly two dozen people.

See Full Article

The water level on the Mississippi River was on the way down at St. Louis after reaching to within two metres of the 1993 record on Thursday. A floodwall protected the city, which had minimal damage. The Missouri River in eastern Missouri also was on the decline. The worst flooding was on the smaller Meramec River.

Four people were missing as a result of the deluge, two each in Missouri and Illinois.

Despite the falling water, transportation remained difficult around St. Louis. Part of Interstate 55 was closed south of the city; a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 44 was closed in the southwest suburbs. It wasn't certain when either would reopen. The Mississippi River was closed for a 5-mile stretch at St. Louis, idling barge traffic. Both Union Pacific and Amtrak suspended rail service in parts of the St. Louis area.

The worst of the damage was in Meramec River towns including Eureka, Valley Park and Arnold, all southwest of St. Louis, where the river reached more than one metre above the previous record at some spots. Hundreds of homes were damaged by high water and hundreds of others evacuated, along with dozens of businesses. Two wastewater plants were shut down - at Fenton and Valley Park - allowing raw sewage into the Meramec.

In Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, south of St. Louis, the Mississippi was still rising but there was good news: The crest forecast for late Friday or early Saturday, once expected to be a record, was now expected to fall about 60 centimetres short of the 1993 mark. Many downtown merchants had cleared out, just to be on the safe side, in case the levee gave way.

“We are breathing a bit easier,” said Sandra Cabot, director of tourism for the historic French settlement that dates to the 18th century. “We are very confident in our levee. We've never been tested at this level before.”

Other southern Missouri and Illinois towns were getting ready for the high-water mark. A record-tying crest was expected by the weekend in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, but a floodwall offers protection and is not considered endangered. Cairo, Illinois, where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers meet, seemed safe, despite a near-record crest prediction.

It appeared the Corps of Engineers would not need to blast a hole in the Birds Point waterway in southeast Missouri, as it did in 2011 to relieve pressure from the flood protection at nearby Cairo. The Corps said the intentional breach would be considered if the Ohio River reached 18 metres at Cairo, but the weather service projects it will top out at 15.5 metres on Sunday.

In Eureka, firefighters and their boats have been in high demand, accounting for roughly 100 rescues of people in their homes, businesses or vehicles since Tuesday, said Scott Barthelmass, a Eureka Fire Protection District spokesman.

Nine levees - five on the Mississippi River, three on the Missouri and one on Illinois' Kaskaskia River - were topped by water this week, but those earthen barriers protect farmland and otherwise unpopulated areas.

-----

Associated Press writer Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Missouri, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Search on for hunter in Saskatchewan who had set out to find 2 others

    Canada News CTV News
    BUFFALO NARROWS, Sask. -- Mounties and civilians are searching in northern Saskatchewan for a man who was searching for two missing hunters. RCMP say the search is in the Frobisher Lake area north of Buffalo Narrows, about 500 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon. Source
  • Man charged with manslaughter charge in Alberta carfentanil death

    Canada News CTV News
    EDSON, Alta. - An Alberta man faces a manslaughter charge after police allege he supplied pills in a carfentanil overdose. RCMP say 48-year-old Guy Kennedy was found dead in a hotel room in Edson, Alta. Source
  • B.C. man acquitted of 4 terrorism charges related to Facebook posts

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - A British Columbia man accused of using his Facebook account to express support of "lone wolf" terrorist attacks has been acquitted of all charges. Othman Hamdan's judge-alone trial began in June, when he pleaded not guilty to encouraging the commission of murder, assault and mischief as well as inducing and instructing someone to carry out a terrorist act. Source
  • Ex-cop arrested near White House with arsenal of weapons

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — A man arrested near the White House Sunday morning is a former Memphis police officer who had an arsenal of weapons in his car and believed the CIA had implanted a chip in his head, according to court documents. Source
  • Seven arrested in Egypt after raising rainbow flag at concert

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- Egyptian security officials say seven homosexuals have been charged with "inciting immorality" after a concert at which the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement was raised in a rare support of gay rights in conservative Egypt. Source
  • 'The people run this country,' not Trump: LeBron James stands firm

    World News CBC News
    LeBron James is not backing down on his comments about President Donald Trump, and countless other players and coaches in the NBA made it clear at media days around the league Monday that they are equally fed up with what could perhaps be described as a pattern of actions from the White House that they would call divisive or worse. Source
  • Baby left on side of Oklahoma freeway in car seat with cash

    World News CTV News
    A 1-month-old baby found on the side of an Oklahoma interstate in a car seat stuffed with $5,500 in cash and a birth certificate was in state custody Monday as authorities continued to investigate why the boy was abandoned. Source
  • Seven arrested in Egypt for raising rainbow flag at concert

    World News Toronto Sun
    CAIRO — Egyptian security officials say seven homosexuals have been charged with “inciting immorality” after a concert at which the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement was raised in a rare support of gay rights in conservative Egypt. Source
  • Nearly all of Puerto Rico still without power, facing dam collapse

    World News CTV News
    Most of Puerto Rico has been without lights or air conditioning for five nights and is looking at many, many more. Nearly all the island's 1.6 million electricity customers were still without power, and most phone lines and internet service were also down on Monday afternoon. Source
  • Ukraine asks Canada for access to satellite images to monitor Russian, rebel troop movements

    Canada News CBC News
    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has pressed the Trudeau government to restart a program supplying the Ukrainian military with satellite imagery to monitor Russian and separatist rebel troop movements, and says it is "extremely important" for Canada to be part of a potential UN peacekeeping mission in the war-torn country. Source