Illinois, Missouri residents begin cleanup after flooding

KINCAID, Ill. -- Sharon Stivers mustered a smile as a visitor walked into her muddy yard.

"Welcome to my flood sale," Stivers joked, nodding to a tall stack of water-soaked furniture, appliances and belongings pulled from her home and piled high by the road in the flat central Illinois town of Kincaid.

See Full Article

"You can have the whole thing for 50 cents."

The Mississippi River and most other waterways in Missouri and Illinois flooded last week after 25-35 centimetres of rain fell over a wide swath of the two states. The water receded in most places Sunday but continued to rise in a few. Cleanup and damage assessment was only beginning, and could take weeks.

Twenty-five deaths in the two states were blamed on flooding, nearly all of them the result of vehicles driving over flooded roadways. The death toll rose Sunday when the body of a second teenager missing for several days was found near Kincaid, a town of about 1,400 residents along the South Fork Sangamon River near Springfield.

The Mississippi River was receding except in the far southern tip of both states. After that, flooding is expected to worsen in Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and other southern states, though the breadth of the flooding there isn't expected to match what happened in Missouri and Illinois.

The Meramec River, the St. Louis-area tributary of the Mississippi that caused so much damage last week, already was below flood stage in the hard-hit Missouri towns of Pacific and Eureka and dropping elsewhere, just three days after reaching record levels. The worst was still to come along the Illinois River, where near-record crests are expected early this week in the Illinois towns of Beardstown, Meredosia and Valley City.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner toured flood-damaged homes in Kincaid and urged residents to be careful, noting the rare cold-weather flood carries its own burdens, including the prospect of hypothermia for those wading into water.

Stivers and many of her neighbors spent Sunday removing ruined items from their homes and placing them along the street for trash crews to pick up. Stivers shares a home with a 45-year-old daughter battling breast cancer, along with a granddaughter and four dogs. Floodwaters got one metre into their home, located in an area where flood insurance wasn't available.

"I lost my home," Stivers said. "My daughter has cancer and lost her home. Am I mad? When I'm not crying I am."

In Illinois' St. Clair County near St. Louis, emergency management director Herb Simmons said damage assessment began Sunday after the Mississippi started to fall. Though water reached higher than 1993, this flood wasn't as bad, Simmons said.

"In '93 that water came up and stayed on the levees for several months," Simmons said. "This flood came up quick and went down quick."

St. Louis-area cleanup largely was focused around the Meramec. Two wastewater treatment plants were so damaged by the floodwaters that raw sewage spewed into the river. Hundreds of people who had been evacuated in the Missouri communities of Pacific, Eureka, Valley Park and Arnold were cleaning up the mess and filth left behind.

In southeast Missouri, up to 30 homes and several businesses were damaged in Cape Girardeau, a community of nearly 40,000 residents that is mostly protected by a flood wall. The Mississippi peaked at 15 metres Friday night, above the 1993 record, but short of the 50-foot mark projected. Nearby levee breaks and toppings in other places kept the crest down.

Amtrak service between St. Louis and Kansas City was back in business on Sunday, four days after high water that reached the tracks at some locations forced the passenger service to be halted.

-----

Associated Press writer Don Babwin contributed to this report from Chicago.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Can Bernier or O'Leary lead a Conservative caucus that wants O'Toole or Scheer?

    Canada News CBC News
    More than two-thirds of the Conservative caucus has gotten behind one of the 14 candidates for the party's top job. Most are supporting either Erin O'Toole or Andrew Scheer — and O'Toole has now surpassed Scheer as the favourite of Conservatives in the House of Commons, even luring two of Scheer's former backers to his side. Source
  • Marijuana industry gets boost from legalization target date

    Canada News CBC News
    Canadian marijuana businesses got a confidence boost from a CBC News report that the government plans to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018, although big questions remain about how the legal market will work in different provinces. Source
  • 'The White House is in disarray': Trump struggles to find 'easy win' after health-care dud

    World News CBC News
    Hungry for a win after his failure to close the deal on a new health-care bill last week, Donald Trump's announcement Monday of a task force to streamline government should have been a palatable bread-and-butter offering to his conservative base. Source
  • Netflix's anti-piracy team aims to make stealing content uncool

    World News CBC News
    ?Netflix is getting tough on piracy. The streaming service giant reveals its plan of attack in an online job posting seeking someone with legal and internet piracy experience to manage its newly created Global Copyright Protection Group. Source
  • Quebec Finance Minister to table 2017-18 budget today

    Canada News CTV News
    Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao will table the province's 2017-18 budget today and says it will be one of "confidence and optimism." Leitao said earlier this month he will be tabling his third consecutive balanced budget. Source
  • French candidate's wife faces charges over parliament jobs

    World News CTV News
    French presidential candidate Francois Fillon, left, and his wife Penelope arrive for a television debate at French TV station TF1 in Aubervilliers, outside Paris, France, Monday, March 20, 2017. (Patrick Kovarik/Pool Photo via AP) Source
  • Human remains may have been discovered on Korean ferry that sank in 2014

    World News CBC News
    South Korean salvage crews on Tuesday found what is presumed to be the remains of one of the missing victims of a 2014 ferry disaster that killed 304 passengers, an official said. The remains were found in the waters near where the ship's wreckage was raised last week, said an official from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. Source
  • Malaysia says Kim Jong Nam's body still in the country

    World News CTV News
    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The body of the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is still in Malaysia, the country's health minister said Tuesday, dismissing reports that his remains were about to be flown out of the country as part of diplomatic negotiations. Source
  • Khalid Masood's wife 'saddened and shocked' by his attack near British Parliament

    World News CBC News
    The wife of the man who killed four people outside Britain's Parliament last week condemned the attack, saying she is "saddened and shocked." In statement released through London police on Tuesday, Khalid Masood's wife, Rohey Hydara, also said "I express my condolences to the families of the victims that have died, and wish a speedy recovery to all the injured. Source
  • 'Screaming, howling wind' from cyclone leaves thousands of Aussies without power

    World News CBC News
    Howling winds, heavy rain and huge seas pounded Australia's northeast on Tuesday, damaging homes, wrecking jetties and cutting power to thousands of people as Tropical Cyclone Debbie tore through Queensland state's far north. Wind gusts stronger than 260 km per hour were recorded at tourist resorts along the world-famous Great Barrier Reef as the powerful storm, at Category 4 just one rung below the most dangerous wind speed level, began to make landfall. Source