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Rivers Slowly Recede After Days of Flooding

June 8, 2013

West Alton, Mo.

West Alton, Mo.

A stop sign stands above the water on U.S. Route 67 in West Alton, Mo. Tuesday June 4, 2013. (AP Photo/The Telegraph, John Badman)

  • West Alton, Mo.
  • Grafton, Ill.
  • Alton, Ill.
  • New Athens, Ill.
  • St. Louis, Mo.
  • Alton, Ill.
  • Fenton, Mo.
  • Alton, Ill.
  • Dutchtown, Mo.
  • Dutchtown, Mo.
  • Osage City, Mo.
  • Osage City, Mo.
  • Osage City, Mo.
  • Marshalltown, Iowa
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Wyanet, Ill.
ST. LOUIS — The rain-swollen Mississippi River on Saturday slowly receded along earthen levees and sandbags that have thus far held up, but flood watches and warnings remain for much of the river valley.
 
The National Weather Service said the river had crested in the St. Louis area and the Illinois towns of Grafton and Alton further north on Thursday. In southeast Missouri's Cape Girardeau and Dutchtown, the river's levels peaked on Friday.
 
The Mississippi River remained in the moderate flood stage on Saturday at 36.4 feet, down from the 40 feet reported on Wednesday.

(MORE: Midwest Flood Alerts)

Rain and severe thunderstorms are forecasted to swing into the Midwest on Saturday, spanning an area stretching from Nebraska and Iowa to the Great Lakes. Additional rainfall could further swell the Mississippi and the Missouri River, which feeds into it, hydrologist Mark Fuchs said from the weather service's St. Louis-area office.

"The forecast is not great news for the Missouri River," Fuchs said, cautioning that whether the storms produce enough rains to again raise the rivers to concerning levels "is all dependent on how much rain there is and where it falls."

"We'd be looking mostly at the potential of it keeping the river up higher and longer," extending the strain on barriers that so far have back the floodwaters with few consequential breaches, Fuchs said.
 
The National Weather Service continued to issue a flood watch for east central Missouri through Monday morning. The service states that additional levee failures are possible along the consolidated north county levee system of the Mississippi River, particularly from west of Portage Des Sioux to West Alton. People located in the watch area are advised to remain vigilant and prepared to act in the event of a levee failure.
 
Crests of the Mississippi at many points along it have widely been among the top 10 on record, although they fell well short of the heights reached during the disastrous Great Flood of 1993.

 


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