Record flooding brings travel to standstill in St. Louis area – Chicago Tribune

Surging Midwestern rivers forced hundreds of evacuations, threatened dozens of levees and brought transportation by car, boat or train to a virtual standstill Thursday in the St. Louis area.

Swollen rivers and streams, already high from a wet late fall, were pushed to heights not seen in nearly a quarter-century after more than 10 inches of rain fell this week in a wide swath from central Illinois through southwest Missouri.

While St. Louis itself was not flooded, hundreds of homes in its southwestern suburbs were damaged and residents in hundreds of others had to leave as water approached the tops of levees. Other spots being threatened were just farmland or now-deserted land.

The good news Thursday: The Missouri, Meramec and Mississippi rivers were cresting throughout the region. The Mississippi River appeared it would be about 7 1/2 feet below the 1993 record in St. Louis, where a floodwall offered solid protection, but as the waters flow south, points in southern Missouri and Illinois were awaiting the crest.


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