Rivers starting to drop, but flood crisis in Midwest isn't over yet

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

Weather-related incidents have killed at least 17 people in parts of the Midwest and South since the weekend, but the bulk of the flood damage has occurred in Arkansas and Missouri, where unsafe conditions have not subsided.

Floodwaters are receding in many hard-hit Midwestern communities, but the worst is yet to come on the Mississippi River. Five deaths have been blamed on flooding in Missouri, while hundreds of people have been displaced and thousands more are potentially in harm's way.

Heavy rains caused an abrupt rise in rivers located in Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas.

River traffic was halted along a 14.5-mile stretch of the MS, a vital passageway for transporting agricultural products and other goods, because of high water and a swift current, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The heavy rains have caused levees to fail or to be breached along the Missouri, Mississippi and OH rivers and their tributaries over the last few days.

"The flooding in the middle part of the county has been unbelievable over the last couple of days. and we have more rain on the way, if you can believe that", Weather.com meteorologist Ari Sarsalari said during his forecast on Wednesday night. Several points on the Missouri River in eastern Missouri will see water 10 feet above flood stage or higher by the end of the week.

The troublesome Black River that runs from southeast Missouri into northeast Arkansas was down after cresting earlier this week in places like Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and Pocahontas, Arkansas.

"The smaller rivers always recede sooner".

About 200 homes have been damaged in the area along the Meramec, but another 1,500 have remained dry thanks to levees and sandbags.

The levee at Valley Park, a St. Louis suburb on the Meramec River, was saturated but holding on Wednesday. A bridge is closed at Chester, Illinois.

The nation's biggest rivers are flooding, too.

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