Mo. Flooding: Roads Close; Residents Team-Up to Contain Rising Rivers

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP)(UPDATED 5:45 p.m.) The latest on severe flooding in Missouri:

4 p.m.

In Missouri, docile creeks swelled to dangerous levels, and river levels jumped after the downpours. The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency counted 143 water rescues statewide but acknowledged that countless others probably weren’t reported.

Hundreds of people were evacuated, a levee was topped in a rural area northwest of St. Louis, and a 57-mile stretch of Interstate 44 was closed.

The Mississippi River was well above flood stage at several points, including Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where it is expected to crest later this week within a half-foot of the all-time record of 48.9 feet.

Near Cape Girardeau, residents of tiny Allenville were urged to evacuate, but many did not, even as the town was surrounded by water. The only way in or out was by boat.

“The old-timers, they know how the river reacts,” Cape Girardeau County emergency management director Richard Knaup said. “They’re old swampers, let me tell you. They’re good country folks. They’d sooner take care of themselves than depend on the government.”

Hundreds of people spent Monday sandbagging Missouri towns along the Meramec River, just 16 months after record flooding along the suburban St. Louis waterway.

Eureka police Sgt. David Sindel said 30 to 50 homes in his town are endangered, along with about a dozen businesses as the river is expected to reach within half-a-foot of the 2015 record.

“Unfortunately, it’s Mother Nature and I guess there’s not much we can do about it,” Sindel said.

Flash floods in Missouri were blamed in the deaths of a 77-year-old man, an 18-year-old man and a 72-year-old woman, whose husband desperately tried to save her before their car was swept away.

1 p.m.

Authorities in eastern Missouri have identified a 77-year-old man killed by floodwaters.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the victim was Clifford Brandt. On Sunday, he walked to a creek near his home to look at rising floodwaters when he slipped and was swept away by the current.

Brandt is among three people killed in flooding in Missouri.

Much of the state received 6 inches to 12 inches of rain over the weekend. Several rivers are still rising, including the Meramec near St. Louis, where hundreds of people are sandbagging to protect homes and businesses.

A 57-mile stretch of Interstate 44 is closed by floodwaters, and hundreds of other roads are closed in spots across the state.

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11:45 a.m.

Hundreds of sandbaggers ranging from children to the elderly are working fast to try and save businesses from floodwaters in the St. Louis suburb of Eureka, Missouri.

The Meramec River is expected to reach nearly 27 feet above flood stage in Eureka by Wednesday morning, just shy of the record set on Dec. 30, 2015. Other St. Louis suburbs like Valley Park, Pacific and Arnold are also in danger from the surging Meramec.

Related story: 2017 Floods – Here’s How to Help

Torrential rains over the weekend caused flash flooding across Missouri, and as storm drains and fields continue to pour into rivers, they continue to rise. Near-record flooding is forecast on several rivers, including the Mississippi at Cape Girardeau.

Three deaths across the state are blamed on flooding.

10:50 a.m.

Flooding has forced the closure of hundreds of Missouri roads, including a 57-mile stretch of Interstate 44 in the south of the state.

The Missouri Department of Transportation said Monday that several sections of the stretch of I-44 between Rolla and Lebanon are underwater.

More than a foot of water fell in parts of the state from Friday through Sunday, causing widespread flooding that led to hundreds of water rescues and killed at least three people in the state.

Many rivers were still rising Monday. Near-record flooding is possible on the Meramec River near St. Louis and other smaller rivers. Even the Mississippi River is projected to come within a half-foot of the all-time record in Cape Girardeau.

The storms were part of a bigger system that being blamed for the deaths of at least 15 people.

8:50 a.m.

Three people are dead after torrential rains in Missouri caused rivers to rise rapidly.

Several inches of rain fell across the state Friday through Sunday. In Jefferson County, south of St. Louis, a 78-year-old man drowned after walking to a creek to look at rising water. Authorities say he slipped and was swept away.

Two others died when vehicles were swept away by floodwaters. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 18-year-old Gideon Jenkins, of Richland, was killed early Sunday when his vehicle was caught in flash floodwaters as he attempted to drive across a low-water crossing in Pulaski County.

Madelaine Krueger, of Billings, was killed Saturday afternoon. The 72-year-old woman was a passenger in a vehicle that was swept of a highway in Christian County.

7:20 a.m.

Authorities say the victims of deadly flooding in Missouri were an 18-year-old man and 72-year-old woman whose vehicles were swept away by floodwaters.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Gideon Jenkins, of Richland, was killed early Sunday when his vehicle was caught in flash floodwaters as he attempted to drive across a low-water crossing in Pulaski County.

Madelaine Krueger, of Billings, was killed Saturday afternoon. She was a passenger in a vehicle that was swept off a highway in Christian County. The patrol says Krueger’s husband tried to rescue her from the rushing water but couldn’t. The car was found in a farm field after the waters receded.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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