UPDATE: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Flood-weary homeowners and sandbaggers across the Midwest are praying for a relenting of rains that have added more water to already swollen rivers blamed for swallowing up neighborhoods.
Even as some of the runaway rivers show signs of cresting, the recovery won't be fast or easy. The National Weather Service expects many of the waterways to remain high into next month, straining levees during the river's expectedly slow descent.
Floodwaters were rising to record levels along the Illinois River in central Illinois. In Missouri, six small levees north of St. Louis were overtopped by the surging Mississippi River, though mostly farmland was affected.
The biggest troubles were in Illinois, on the Illinois River. In Peoria Heights, roads and buildings are flooded.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Volunteers, the Missouri National Guard and even prison inmates are trying to help the eastern Missouri hamlet of Clarksville battle the surging Mississippi River this morning.
The river is expected to crest tomorrow nearly 11 feet above flood stage at Clarksville, about 60 miles north of St. Louis. The town's 442 residents along with a team of volunteers have built a makeshift levee made of gravel, plastic overlay and sandbags and are now trying to reinforce it.
The National Weather Service is predicting "major" flooding on the Mississippi from the Quad Cities through just north of St. Louis this weekend, with similar projections farther south into early next week. Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin have all had flooding, with dozens of Midwestern rivers well over their banks after a week of heavy rains.
In central Indiana, police are searching for a motorist who vanished along a flooded roadway near the spot where another man died yesterday when floodwaters swept his car away.