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Flooding Worries Heighten

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Members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri National Guard survey a levy breach in Butler County, Missouri on April 26, 2011. The levee along the Black River has breached in several places, forcing authorities to evacuate residents.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri National Guard survey a levy breach in Butler County, Missouri on April 26, 2011. The levee along the Black River has breached in several places, forcing authorities to evacuate residents. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS, Mo (KMOX)- With the rivers already high and more rain in the forecast, the U-S Army Corps of Engineers is getting worried about the flood-threat for the St. Louis area.  Localized flooding continues to cause problems for many motorists.   The Missouri Department of Transportation reports several roads are closed due to high water on the Mississippi
and Meramec rivers and other waterways..

 The Mississippi was about four feet above flood stage in St. Louis on Thursday and is expected to remain at about that level until beginning a slow descent on Sunday. However the possibility of serious flooding is now being talked about in the planning room of the U-S Army Corps of Engineers. 

The big concern is rain.  The Chief of the Emergency Operations with the Corps,  Jake Scanlon, “says right now in a couple of the areas they are at Phase Two  flood fight.”   The Corps is in close communications with the levee districts and as they see the  flood forecast rise they start checking with the levee commissioners to see if there are any problems. 

If and when the flood forecasts’ hit a certain point, which the Corps of Engineers refers to Phase One, flood fighting teams are dispatched to the impacted area.  

Scanlon says the  rivers are dangerously high enough now that his teams levee walking the levees to check for weak spots.   What worries him is more rain and what is happening up river.  Scanlon says, if we get a steady rain for a week it’s going to become a big concern.

Scanlon says his worst fear is another flood of 93 scenario, in which a prolonged weather system stalled over the middle of the country.   The National Weather Service is calling for more rain in the upper Mississippi saturday, but has no long-range outlook. 

What’s needed, Scanlon says, is two weeks of dry weather.

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