Flooding Continues, More Evacuations Ordered

"Everybody is at battle stations", Bob Anderson, a spokesman for the Mississippi River Commission in Vicksburg, Miss., told The Christian Science Monitor on Thursday.

(Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP). For now, the Thornes are staying in a Red Cross shelter at a Baptist church.

In Thebes, Illinois, about 125 miles (201 km) downriver from St. Louis, the floodwater was expected to crest at 47.5 feet (14 m) on Sunday, more than 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) above the 1995 record, the NWS said.

The Mississippi River was receding except in the far southern tip of both states.

Winter floods have decimated communities along the Mississippi River over the last several weeks as the waterways breached their banks causing at least 11 levees to fail.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Saturday toured communities ravaged by flooding that killed at least 31 people in several states and forced large-scale evacuations, as the danger of rising waters shifted to Arkansas and beyond.

"It was bad from every direction", Newman said.

Stivers shares a home with her 45-year-old daughter battling breast cancer, along with a granddaughter and four dogs. Compounding the difficulties is that the home is an area where flood insurance wasn't available.

"Am I mad?" she asked. It's not just the water; it's the temperature. "We've had floods before, but nothing like this".

Cape Girardeau resident June Campbell watched the river move by from high ground, remembering how floods had incapacitated the town in past years, while they now have left it relatively undamaged.

The river is expected to reach major flood stage at all of the measuring points from Arkansas City, Arkansas, to Natchez, Mississippi, the NWS said.

The death toll from the flooding in the Midwest is now at 23, CNN said.

President Barack Obama signed a federal emergency declaration Saturday for Missouri, allowing federal aid to be used to help state and local response efforts.

Gov. Nixon met with elected officials and law enforcement and emergency management leaders in Eureka today to brief them on his request for federal assistance.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt (R) visited Cape Girardeau Friday to highlight the "really unique, long-term effort" against floods in the area, and he suggested similar tactics in the St. Louis area would be helpful going forward.

Rauner says, "The lack of state budget is impacting services and support in recovery from the flood".

"Wednesday night it came in through the windows", Wolf said.

Thousands of people evacuated from their homes earlier in the week were waiting to return to their communities and begin the process of cleaning up.

The Mississippi River is dropping in the southeast Missouri town of Cape Girardeau, much to the relief of flood fighters in that area.

"The high water may have passed here in Eureka and in other parts of the St. Louis region but behind me you see just a tiny fraction of the trail of destruction that the flood water has left".

Meteorologists expect water levels to increase in Memphis, Tennessee, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, into mid-January, possibly setting records as the rivers wend toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Major flooding is expected to continue along the Mississippi, Arkansas and OH rivers in Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky, according to the National Weather Service.

Suhr reported from Kansas City, Mo.

Related News: