As rivers recede, another death from Midwest flooding

The other weather events that caused at least $1 billion of damage were three tornado outbreaks, a freeze in the Southeast, and flooding in California.

Dropping water levels along the Meramec River on Thursday prompted the mayor of Valley Park to lift evacuation orders for levee-protected areas effective at 8 a.m. Friday.

Updated May 4 at noon with updated information - Interstate 55 was reopened in south St. Louis County on Thursday morning, once it became clear that the Meramec River was receding there.

It will be quite a challenge for businesses to rebound again after being hit hard in less than two years.

City officials in tiny West Alton, Missouri, about 20 miles north of St. Louis, urged residents to get out of town amid concerns the Missouri River levee there could break.

River levels are falling after record and near-record flooding in parts of the Midwest, but the crisis is far from over.

Hutchinson advised residents of the area to listen to officials and follow instructions to evacuate as needed. "We need to all use our common sense".

The Running Water levee, as the system near the town is called, was originally built in the early 1900s, but fell into disrepair over the decades, with trees growing along it and animals burrowing into it, according to the Democrat-Gazette.

The superintendent has not yet confirmed if district schools will be closed Thursday and Friday.

"I'm aware of many employees who live in areas affected by this natural disaster".

"It's going to be longer before we can get 141 open".

Most of the major routes are not expected to reopen until late in the week.

"Our employees will be on site around the clock, attending to the ever-changing situation", he said. At one point, about 300 roads were closed across the state.

In Illinois, much of the central and southern parts of the state remained under flood warnings.

Nine shelters are in place as hundreds of people in the area have been evacuated, said Peggy Barnhart of the Red Cross.

Tom Blair, of MoDOT, described the cresting of the Meramec as the "beginning of the light at the end of the tunnel".

More than 200 homes have been damaged, and St. Louis County's emergency management chief says another 1,500 are in harm's way.

The Missouri American Water is asking some customers in St. Louis County to conserve water in the next few days pending a possible shut down of their South Plant.

The Meramec River, which travels through suburbs of St. Louis, rose to a record 46.11 feet after weeks of heavy rainfall.

The cleanup continues in parts of Missouri and Arkansas after near-record flooding.

The river is expected to drop to around 27 feet in next days, which is still well above flood stage, but it is a little bit of relief.

MoDOT officials also said Route 21/Tesson Ferry Road at the Meramec and Route 141 at Romaine Creek would close Tuesday afternoon.

  • Zachary Reyes