Some await worst, others pick up pieces after flooding

On Thursday, the flooding breached a St. Louis-area wastewater treatment plant near the Meramec River - the second such breach there in a week - sending untreated waste into the river. The worst of the risky, de...

In St. Mary, Missouri, a town of about 360 residents 50 miles south of St. Louis, neighbors and volunteers placed sandbags around homes after a small agricultural levee broke.

"The healing process, the restoration process has begun", Chris Greenhagen, pastor of the Central Baptist Church in Eureka, Missouri, one of the communities hit by flooding along the Meramec River earlier this week, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

The floods claimed the lives of people in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas, most who had driven into flooded areas after days of downpours.

St. Louis, Mo., can finally clean up after historic floods as the swollen MS river surges downstream, carrying with it the risk of more flooding in rural Missouri and IL.

Interstate 44, which had also been closed for two days over a 24-mile stretch, was also drying up, and reopened later Friday.

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency on Thursday, and MS governor Phil Bryant requested a federal disaster declaration from President Obama. "We learned a lot from the 2011 flood", McGowen said. She said she might not be able to move back for weeks while her landlord replaces soaked insulation.

"When you see a historic flood, we are committed to a historic response", he said.

Residents pile ruined furniture, appliances and clothes along the street for disposal crews to pick up after last week's flooding from the south fork of the Sangamon River, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Kincaid, Ill.

"It's going to get ugly", Tatum said. Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson says a flood-related death in Livingston County earlier in the week and the discovery of the missing teen's body Friday morning raised the tally after an earlier report of seven Illinois deaths.

Restrictions on Mississippi River from mile marker 110, near Chester Illinois, to mile marker 34, near Billings Landing, Missouri.

Water has already gone over the top of one levee, prompting people to evacuate areas nearby, the office of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said. The Illinois National Guard was ordered into the southern parts of the state. In Missouri, Nixon planned stops in Eureka and Cape Girardeau.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from towns in eastern Missouri, including Pacific and Eureka, as homes took on water.

Water is pumped over the Valley Park levee on the Meramec River in Valley Park, Missouri. He was still unpacking Saturday after the evacuation was lifted.

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

She says the impact has been "relatively mild" to Cape Girardeau, a community of almost 40,000, where about two dozen homes and a dozen businesses have been damaged by the flood.

"It's still a very significant flood", Spriggs said.

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 NWS also on Saturday warned communities in the Southern Mississippi Valley region of potential flooding during the next 10 days.

The $13 billion Mississippi River and Tributaries project aims to regulate river flow from where the OH and Mississippi swirl into each other at Cairo, Ill., (pronounced "kay-ro") all the way to New Orleans. The tiny town of Allenville, Mo., experienced the flood, but its residents are "used to being isolated and cut off" and began using boats to get around, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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