US Declares Flood Emergency in Missouri as Rivers Continue to Rise

The Latest Central Illinois flood victims begin cleanup

(Justin Sellers/The Clarion-Ledger via AP).

An aerial view from a Missouri National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the effects of flooding in Pacific, Missouri, Dec.30, 2015. "Floodwaters will move downstream over the next couple of weeks, with significant river flooding expected for the lower MS into mid-January".

"It's scary, I remember in the '50s when the whole town was flooded", she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. For now, the Thornes are staying in a Red Cross shelter at a Baptist church. In Cape Girardeau, the Mississippi River today surpassed its previous record flood level.

Flooding along the Mississippi River near Cairo, Illinois, was near its forecast peak Sunday morning as the threat from the rain-swollen waterway continued to roll south.

Water from the Mississippi, Meramec and Missouri rivers largely began receding on Friday in the St. Louis area.

This footage is from Chester, Illinois, a small city located south of St. Louis, near the Mississippi River.

Mike Crews, Christian County's emergency manager, said the worst of the inundation appeared to be past, "until the new weather comes", citing the prospect of potentially heavy rain later in the week.

Floodwaters got 4 feet into the home she shares with her 45-year-old daughter, a granddaughter and four dogs. Missouri American Water spokeswoman Ann Dettmer said the water in homes and businesses in the area still is safe to use.

Without question she's mad, she told The Associated Press Sunday. "I lost my home".

In a statement on Friday, Rauner says the step means soldiers will be ready at a moment's notice for local communities, as flood waters could continue to rise.

Officials in Louisiana are checking levees daily, and Exxon Mobil has chose to shut its 340,571 barrel-per-day refined products terminal in Memphis, Tennessee, as flood waters threatened to inundate the facility just south of the city's downtown. "We've had floods before, but nothing like this".

Sheriff's deputies went door-to door recommending people evacuate from the towns of East Cape Girardeau and McClure.

The death toll from the flooding in the Midwest is now at 23, CNN said. The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security to coordinate relief efforts.

In the St. Louis area, where the river crested Friday, some residents returned home and began the painstaking process of surveying the damage, cleaning up and salvaging whatever they could.

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

Expressways coming out of the St. Louis metropolitan area have been reopened, though in some areas the danger persists of rivers overflowing.

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.

A report from the National Emergency System said more than 2300 people were evacuated and 21,249 left their homes by their own means.

In Memphis, Tennessee, the MS was expected to crest Friday well below record levels.

In Thebes, Illinois, about 200km downriver from St Louis, the flood water was expected to crest at 14m yesterday, more than 0.5m above the 1995 record, the National Weather Service said.

The National Weather Service on Sunday measured the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Miss., at just under 43 feet, the flood stage at that point. Cities such as Miller City and Fayville were cut off, the station reported.

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