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BornAgain2

Floodwaters rising in US heartland

Floodwaters rising after storms deluge heartland
4/19/13  ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Mississippi River quickened its ominous rise on Friday after parts of the Midwest were soaked by heavy rains this week, with some towns hurriedly building sandbag levees to protect homes and businesses. Several communities in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri could see near-record flooding this weekend — a sharp contrast to just two months ago when the river was at near-record lows. In central Illinois, a flood-swollen river topped a levee and prompted authorities to evacuate about half of a small town. The Mississippi was among many rivers lapping over the banks in those states and central Indiana, where heavy overnight rains also flooded rivers, streams and streets, driving some people from their homes and prompting school districts to cancel or delay the start of classes.

In Missouri, most of the 442 residents in Clarksville have pitched in on a furious effort to build a makeshift levee of gravel, plastic overlay and sandbags, trying to keep the murky Mississippi from inundating the handful of downtown businesses. "This just shocked us all because it just came up so quickly," alderwoman Sue Lindemann said. "We found out about the crest prediction Wednesday and we started sandbagging that night. It's going to be touch and go but we're hoping." Volunteers worked into the night to stack sandbags against rising floodwaters and evacuate people in the path, or rescue those already in danger. National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs said the swiftness of the rise has been stunning.

"To go from below flood stage to close to 10 feet above is unusual," he said. "Pretty amazing. It's just been skyrocketing." In Quincy, Ill., the Mississippi jumped nearly 10 feet in 36 hours. By the time it crests Sunday at 11 feet above flood stage, a bridge over the river may have to be shut down and the sewage plant for the community of 40,000 residents could be threatened. The torrential rains caused widespread flash-flooding, too. An 80-year-old woman died in De Soto, Mo., about 40 miles southwest of St. Louis, when a normally docile creek flooded a street and swept away her car. About 50 residents had to be rescued by boat in a low-lying area of town, said De Soto City Manager Dave Dews.

Some of the worst flooding was in the Chicago area, where up to 7 inches fell within 24 hours Wednesday night and Thursday. A massive sinkhole opened and swallowed two parked cars and one that was driving through. The driver was hospitalized but was expected to survive. In suburban Chicago, Nick Ariano helped rescue a friend's grandmother, who became trapped in a home filling with water after a branch of the flooding DuPage River spilled over its levee. Ariano, his friend and another man raced to a sporting goods store to buy inflatable rafts, then paddled out to the home and got Mille Andrzejewski, in her mid-80s, to safety. The three friends got some enjoyment out of the raft ride, despite the eeriness of floating over submerged cars and mailboxes. "As kids growing up, we used to raft down the river," Ariano said with a laugh.

About 60 miles southwest of Chicago, a Grundy County hospital evacuated 47 patients after a nearby creek and the Illinois River rose and water crept into the basement, spokeswoman Janet Long said. National Weather Service hydrologists are projecting flooding along several smaller rivers in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. The Illinois River — a major tributary of the Mississippi — will have major flooding for the next week to 10 days, as will the Rock River in western Illinois. Meanwhile, the Mississippi and Missouri rivers were already at flood stage and rising fast. Buyouts since the 1993 flood, flood walls and reinforced flood levees have gone a long way to limiting damage from Mississippi River flooding. Still, tens of thousands of acres of farmland are under water, several roads are closed, and town sewer systems are threatened if water gets high enough.

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis issued a flood warning for Tippecanoe County and part of Carroll County because of rising waters from the Wabash River following heavy rain on Thursday. Parts of Michigan got up to 4 inches of rain through Friday morning, causing flooding along the Grand River in Grand Rapids, the Saginaw River in eastern Michigan, and the Pine River at Alma. The one silver lining in all the rain: The drought that had the Mississippi dangerously low throughout the winter is all but over in some of the major crop-growing states, including Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to a weekly drought monitor. Small portions of
Nebraska
also saw improvement. Now farmers are hoping for a dry spell to allow them to get into the fields for spring planting.
http://news.yahoo.com/floodwaters...s-deluge-heartland-072052919.html
CJ

This rain is wonderful for the Mississippi River !
http://cj.myfreeforum.org/about3505.html
BornAgain2

http://news.yahoo.com/crests-appr...eral-towns-midwest-070600592.html
Crests approaching in several towns in Midwest
4/21/13

CLARKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) — An all-too-familiar springtime ritual played out around the nation's heartland this weekend as volunteers, National Guardsmen and even prison inmates joined together in an effort to ward off fast-rising floodwaters.

Dangerously high waters dotted at least six Midwestern states following torrential rains this past week that dumped up to 7 inches in some locations. Record flooding was possible in some places as dozens of rivers overflowed their banks.

The water levels forced evacuations, closed roads, swamped hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland and shut down much of the upper Mississippi River to barge traffic. Even two Mississippi River bridges were closed. Several Mississippi River towns north of St. Louis were expected to see crests sometime Sunday, including Clarksville, Mo.

Volunteers in the tiny community have worked endlessly since Wednesday to build a makeshift sandbag levee that seemed to be holding as the crest— expected to be 11 feet above flood stage — approached. Even prisoners from far-away Jefferson City were brought in to help.

more
BornAgain2

http://local.msn.com/rivers-crest-across-midwest-but-rain-in-forecast
4/21/13
Rivers crest across Midwest, but rain in forecast

CLARKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) -- Those fighting floods in several communities along the Mississippi River were mostly successful Sunday despite the onslaught of water, but an ominous forecast and the growing accumulation of snow in the upper Midwest tempered any feelings of victory. The surging Mississippi was at or near crest at several places from the Quad Cities south to near St. Louis -- some reaching 10-12 feet above flood stage. Problems were plentiful: Hundreds of thousands of acres of swamped farmland as planting season approaches; three people died; roads and bridges closed, including sections of major highways like U.S. 61 in Iowa and Missouri and crossings at Quincy, Ill., and Louisiana, Mo.the M

The U.S. Coast Guard said 114 barges broke loose near St. Louis on Saturday night, and four hit the Jefferson Barracks Bridge in St. Louis County. The bridge was closed about six hours for inspection but reopened around 8 a.m. Sunday. Most of the runaway barges were corralled but at least 10 sank and two others were unaccounted for, Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty said. Two of the confirmed flood-related deaths occurred near the same spot in Indiana; another was in Missouri. In all three cases, vehicles were swept off the road in flash floods. High water could be responsible for two more, both in Illinois, where a decomposed body was found Thursday in an Oak Brook creek and a body was found Saturday in the Mississippi River at Cora. Investigations continue.

And the danger is far from over, as spots south of St. Louis aren't expected to crest until late this week. Significant flooding is possible in places like Ste. Genevieve, Mo., Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Cairo, Ill. Adding to concern is a forecast that calls for heavy rain Monday night and Tuesday throughout much of the Midwest. National Weather Service meteorologist Julie Phillipson said an inch of rain is likely in many places, some places even more. Rain is projected from Wisconsin through Missouri. "That's not what we want to see when we have this kind of flooding, that's for sure," Phillipson said.

Harley-Davidson riders and bicyclists zipped through Grafton, Ill., a tourist town 40 miles north of St. Louis, many pausing to snap pictures of the swollen river. Floodwaters were lapping against the side of Grafton's Artisan Village, a flea market-type business for artists. Owner Marty Harp, 53, sipped a Miller Lite as he cast a wary eye to the sky. "If we can hold off the crest and it doesn't rain for a couple of days, it'll be OK," Harp said. But anxiety looms regarding the heavy snow the northern Midwest has received this month and what happens when it melts and makes its way into tributaries of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Forecasters said up to 6 inches of new snow was possible in the Black Hills area of South Dakota through Monday morning.

Hundreds of miles to the southeast, in La Grange, Mo., Lewis County emergency management director David Keith wasn't bothered by the soggy forecast. Sandbags were holding back the murky Mississippi from La Grange City Hall, a bank and a handful of threatened homes. The water was receding. "What we're worried about now is all that snow melt in North and South Dakota and Minnesota," Keith said. AccuWeather meteorologist Alan Reppert said the timing of the snow melt could prove lucky: It may stay cold long enough up north to make for a gradual melt, giving the rivers time to thin out. Of greater concern, he said, is the Red River in North Dakota, which could see significant flooding in the coming weeks.

Along the Mississippi, a handful of river towns are most affected by the high waters -- places like Clarksville, Mo., and Grafton that have chosen against flood walls or levees. By Sunday, sandbagging had all but stopped in Clarksville, evidence of the confidence that the makeshift sandbag levee hurriedly erected to protect downtown would hold. Volunteers, including nearly three dozen prison inmates, worked since Wednesday, using 6,000 tons of sand and gravel. The river was at 34.7 feet Sunday, nearly 10 feet above the 25-foot flood stage -- a somewhat arbitrary term the NWS defines as the point when "water surface level begins to create a hazard to lives, property or commerce" -- and expected to rise another foot before cresting Monday.

"We believe we'll have a successful conclusion," said Jo Anne Smiley, longtime mayor of the 442-resident hamlet. Richard Cottrell, a 64-year-old antique shop owner, was hopeful, but nervous. After two days of endless sandbagging, Cottrell thought he could rest Saturday night, but the constant beeping of heavy equipment outside and flood worries kept him up. "I had a rough night last night. I had an anxiety attack," he admitted. Many towns on smaller rivers in other states were dealing with floodwaters, too.

In Grand Rapids, Mich., Mayor George Heartwell declared a state of emergency as the flooding Grand River poured into the basements of several hotels and other downtown buildings. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn declared at least 41 counties disaster areas from flooding. The Fox River in northern Illinois reached record levels, and several record crests were possible along the Illinois River. Indiana officials were still determining whether flooded communities like Kokomo, Tipton and Elwood will be eligible for disaster aid.
BornAgain2

http://news.yahoo.com/more-rain-s...lead-more-flooding-082906026.html
More rain, snow could lead to more flooding
4/22/13

GRAFTON, Ill. (AP) — The Mississippi River started its slow decline at some problematic spots Monday, but the spring flood is far from over. The Mississippi and countless other Midwestern rivers were still significantly above flood stage, spurred by heavy rain last week. Levee breaks caused problems in Indiana, and floodwaters flirted with the Michigan State University campus. Flooding is blamed in three deaths and could be responsible for two more. A woman last seen stranded along a flooded bridge was missing in Illinois, and a boy was in critical condition after being pulled from a river in Missouri. The Mississippi River was at or near crest at several places Sunday between the Quad Cities and near St. Louis. Some towns in the approximate 100-mile stretch of river from Quincy, Ill., to Grafton, Ill., reached 10-12 feet above flood stage. Adding to concern is the forecast of an inch of rain Monday night into Tuesday over much of the Midwest. National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs said the new rain could bump up the Mississippi River up to a foot from Clarksville, Mo., to points south.

"The level of concern is high," Fuchs said. "It does look like we're going to see a bit of a bump up from this rainfall event." The current flooding is bad enough. In scenic Grafton, a small tourist town 40 miles north of St. Louis, floodwater 3 inches deep seeped into the basement of Pam and Dennis Bick's home where they've lived for four decades. "We have time to figure out what to do, where we would go and where we would put everything," Pam Bick, 57, said. "I don't want it to come up any more. But I can't stop it." Spots south of St. Louis aren't expected to crest until late this week, and significant flooding is possible in places like Ste. Genevieve, Mo., Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Cairo, Ill. To the north, the snow hasn't stopped in Minnesota and the Dakotas, and flood watchers along both the Missouri and Mississippi rivers know once that snow — record levels in some cases — melts, a lot of it ends up in the big rivers. But AccuWeather meteorologist Alan Reppert said the timing of the snow melt could be fortuitous: It may stay cold long enough to the north to make for a gradual melt that occurs after the current flood level goes down.Of greater concern, he said, is the Red River in North Dakota, which could see significant flooding in the coming weeks. Sandbagging was beginning this week in Fargo and Cass County to prepare for possibly record amounts of high water.

Sandbagging had all but stopped in Clarksville, Mo., on Sunday, evidence of the confidence in the makeshift sandbag levee hurriedly erected to protect downtown. The river was expected to rise to 11 feet above flood stage — a somewhat arbitrary term the National Weather Service defines as the point when "water surface level begins to create a hazard to lives, property or commerce" — before cresting Monday. "We believe we'll have a successful conclusion," said Jo Anne Smiley, longtime mayor of the 442-resident hamlet. Authorities in LaSalle, Ill., were searching for a missing woman after her van was found near the Shippingsport Bridge over the flooded Illinois River. A pilot alerted authorities Friday after seeing a person stranded near a van in water near the bridge. In Leadwood, Mo., about 65 miles south of St. Louis, a 12-year-old boy was swept into the flooding Big River as he tried to walk across a flooded bridge. Robert Salsberry jumped in to save him. "I chased him down the river and he was just floating lifelessly," Salsberry told the Park Hills Daily Journal. "I dragged him to a little island inside the river and I gave him CPR. His face was all blue, and I gave him CPR and brought him back to life."

Two Wabash River levees failed in southwestern Indiana. A breach about 3 a.m. Monday near Prairieton, Ind., flooded farmland. About two dozen homes were high enough to stay out of the water but became reachable only by boat. The other levee failure, in Dresser, near Terre Haute, pushed water into the basements of a few homes. In Michigan, the Grand River crested Sunday night at Grand Rapids, topping the old record by more than 2 feet. Several downtown buildings, including hotels and apartments, were affected. At East Lansing, Mich., the Red Cedar River flooded parts of the Michigan State University campus, leaving some athletic fields waterlogged.
BornAgain2

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2...rm-dumps-snow-on-central-us?lite=
4/23/13
Deadly river floods set to continue through weekend, storm dumps snow on central US

Rivers including the Mississippi and Illinois are expected to remain in “major flood stage” through this weekend, the National Weather Service warned as rain and snow continued to fall on much of the central U.S. Tuesday.

A number of flood warnings were in place as ongoing rain and runoff from last week’s intense downpours continued to keep the water levels high in rivers across Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan in particular, the NWS added.

“The larger rivers, such as the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, will take longer to recede and will remain in major flood stage through this weekend,” the weather service said.

“Do not drive through flowing water. Nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle related. As little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Two feet of water will carry most vehicles away,” it added in a flood warning for several rivers in Missouri.

More snow
There were some heavy snowfalls overnight in parts of the central U.S. and snow was continuing to fall Tuesday morning but was expected to gradually diminish, the weather service said.

The worst-affected area was expected to be the foothills and eastern slopes of the Front Range Mountains, which could see up to 16 inches.

Duluth, Minn., has this month seen a record total of 50.2 inches for any month of the year, weather.com said. The figures go back to 1870.

The weather service warned that in areas where the snow was wet, travel would be “especially hazardous."

Rain and floods
There was also a risk of severe storms from the Ohio Valley to the lower Mississippi Valley, weather.com said on Tuesday, with “localized damaging winds and large hail.”

The floods have been blamed for at least five deaths since Thursday and have also forced evacuations, swamped homes and shut down bridges.

Barge traffic on the Mississippi was brought to a near standstill. On Sunday at least one sank and others ran aground or were half-submerged because of the floods.

States of emergency have been declared in Missouri and Illinois.

In Grafton, Ill. -- about 40 miles northeast of St. Louis -- Mayor Tom Thompson said his small community along the Mississippi River was managing, despite the water reaching 10 feet above flood stage by Monday afternoon.

"If it gets another foot (higher), it's going to become another issue," Thompson said, reported The Associated Press. Many businesses "are kinda watching and holding their breath. ... Some things are going to really be close to the wire."

Prison inmates were bused in to work alongside the National Guard and volunteers to build a floodwall of sand and gravel in Clarksville, Mo., but the barrier was showing signs of strain on Monday, according to The AP.

Areas south of St. Louis are not expected to crest until late this week.

Meanwhile, smaller rivers were causing big evacuations elsewhere. In Grand Rapids, Mich., the Grand River rose to a record 21.85 feet --  breaking 1985's record of 19.64 feet -- and driving hundreds of residents outs of their homes while flooding parts of downtown. Flood stage for the Grand River is 18 feet, according to Detroit's Lansing State Journal.

We have prepared for the worst,” Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell said, reported The Lansing State Journal.
BornAgain2

Flooding threatens already drenched Midwest, South
By Ed Payne, CNN
updated 12:39 PM EDT, Wed April 24, 2013

CNN) -- A powerful spring cold snap is bringing more rain and snow to a soggy U.S. heartland Wednesday, putting more pressure on riverside communities from the upper Midwest to the Deep South. The additional precipitation will further delay flooding recovery. The residents of Grafton, Illinois, north of St. Louis, will see the worst of the floodwater through Friday as the Mississippi River peaks at more than 11 feet above flood stage, the National Weather Service says. Many along the river's edge decided to evacuate, but Jerry Eller thought he would wait it out. "I've got water coming up through cracks in the floor, so I have about 3,000 gallons an hour of pumps running down the basement keeping water out, and that seems to be keeping it down to about an inch," Eller told CNN affiliate KPLR. Floodwater has ravaged dozens of counties in Illinois, forcing thousands of residents from their homes.

Widespread flooding

As rivers across the heartland swelled during the past two weeks, rising water was blamed for four deaths. Flooding threatens rivers in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi and Michigan, the National Weather Service said. The Mississippi River at St. Louis on Wednesday was above flood stage and expected to remain so through Sunday, the CNN weather team said. The Illinois River at Peoria was experiencing major flooding, which is expected to last through the weekend. Moderate flooding through the weekend is expected north of Chicago at the Des Plaines River. Along the Mississippi River, flood watches stretch as far south as Louisiana. Although flooding is expected along the river, experts don't expect the catastrophic levels of two years ago, when levees were breached. The flooding was so grave in 2011 that authorities purposely flooded thousands of square miles of Louisiana to spare city centers. Residents in North Dakota are bracing for flooding, too, along the Red River in Fargo. The city has begun a three-day push to truck sandbags into low-lying areas. Police cars are escorting the semitrailer trucks as they head to the locations, affiliate KVLY reported. Conditions could get worse. The additional rain could speed up the melting of snow, making the river rise even faster.

Volunteer help

In Clarksville, Missouri, some 500,000 sandbags and more than 8,000 tons of sand and rock are being used to keep most of the floodwater at bay. Mayor Jo Anne Smiley said the worst is over, but the city isn't out of the woods yet. Volunteers from around the area played a key role in protecting the town. "The only way this community in particular survives these kinds of events is volunteer help, because we've had more volunteers in town than we have people who live here," Smiley told affiliate KSDK. "And the people who live here are for the most part aged." Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency last week after many areas of the state were stricken by flash flooding. "The sustained periods of heavy rainfall (have) swollen creeks and streams and is pushing the Mississippi River over flood levels, endangering river communities," Nixon said. Record floodwater on the Rock River is dampening the mood at Rick Wyffels' Christmas tree farm in Moline, Illinois. "This is going to be bad," Wyffels told CNN affiliate WQAD. "This is the highest water I've ever seen down here." The Wyffels family has farmed along the Rock River for more than 60 years. About a quarter of his crop is under water. "We'll just have to wait and see whether these trees make it or not," he said. Back in July, it was a different story for Wyffels as the region was locked in a drought. He lost some 900 trees in the parched soil.

Deadly consequences

The rain and flooding caused three deaths last week and a fourth Sunday, local authorities reported. In DuPage County, Illinois, a body was found floating in Salt Creek last week, the local sheriff's office said. Authorities were working to identify it. A woman in De Soto, Missouri, drowned last week after her vehicle washed off a road, KSDK reported. Two fatalities were reported in Arcadia, Indiana. On Thursday, a 64-year-old man died after attempting to cross high water in his car. The water swept him off a roadway and dragged him downstream, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said.

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