Hundreds of people living in St. Charles County near St. Louis, Missouri were evacuated from their homes after a levee breach Monday night. The Mississippi River at St. Louis was 10 feet above flood stage overnight according to the US Geological Survey, and flood warnings were put into effect from Illinois down to Louisiana. Residents of West Alton, MO have been told to review their exit plans and get ready to leave as the sandbag reinforced levees are also beginning to show signs of stress in their area.
Much of the work in the St. Louis area is concerned with dealing with the damage caused by the tornadoes that ripped through this passed weekend. Still, many volunteers arrived at Portage Des Sioux to fill bags with 850 tons of sand in a nonstop effort to hold back the flood waters in St. Charles county. MoDOT officials are considering closing the Alton Bridge if more rain brings the water levels over Highway 67.
Across the Mississippi in Illinois, water has spilled over into the riverfront and roads lining a Con Agra plant and closed the Argosy Alto Casino. High water could potentially turn small towns such as Allenville into an island, reachable only by boat. The tourist town of Grafton, Illinois has not yet been evacuated, but but there are reports of 12 feet of standing water in some areas.
Mike Peterson, a Corps of Engineers spokesman said that the Mississippi River levees have been overtopping during this storm near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi. The flood warning continues for St. Charles, and the river is forecast to fall below flood level on Friday.
Images via FEMA and US Army Corps of Engineers.