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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - Rivers in the nation's heartland are rising yet again, and with heavy rain in the forecast, parts of Iowa, Missouri and Illinois are bracing for another round of flooding.

   The National Weather Service said Wednesday that 2 to 4 inches of rain will be common as strong storms fire up through Friday; some areas could see up to 6 inches.

   How bad things get will depend on how much rain falls and where.

   The weather service says a worst-case scenario would be widespread heavy rain along the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, and along the Missouri River. The Mississippi and many of its tributaries are already above flood stage, and the Missouri is getting close.

   Forecasters say the Mississippi could reach its highest level at St. Louis in nearly two decades.

Published in Local News

One week after Bobbie Billups disappeared into the Mississippi River, the St. Louis Fire Department found his body.

Billups was fishing under the Merchants Bridge in downtown when he went to get something out of his car. While he was inside the car, it rolled in the river. Witnesses say Billups got out of the car, but he could not swim to the shore and bystanders could not rescue him.

Billups was 54 years old.

 

Published in Local News

The search continues for a man in the Mississippi River.

Police say two men were in a car that was parked near the Merchants Bridge in north St. Louis when it started to roll. The car traveled into the water, where one man was able to get out. Fishermen helped pull him from the water. The second man was last seen floating down the river face down.

Search boats are out looking for the man.

Published in Local News

Some 300 gallons of crude oil has spilled into the Mississippi River in Alton this morning after a vessel ran into a fleeting area near Alton, causing barges to break away.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it happened just before one this morning. 14 barges, two dry docks and two workplats broke away. The Captain of the Port closed the river from mile marker 194 to 198 after the accident. All barges, flts and dry-docks were secured and the river reopened at 2:13 a.m. Friday.

The Coast Guard is checking for any environmental damage by inspecting facilities, barges and the shoreline.

Published in Local News

The Mississippi River is closed near St. Louis again.  This time, the problem is several barges that broke loose and collided with some docked barges.  

The Coast Guard says it happened around midnight near the confluence with the Missouri River.

 Early reports indicate that the accident may have caused a significant oil spill in the river.

 
Published in Local News

  The bodies of two Missouri boaters are now been recovered after the men went missing on the Mississippi River near Hartford in southern Illinois.

   Illinois conservation police said Monday that 46-year-old Wendell Robinson of Bellefontaine Neighbors, Mo., was found Sunday in the river at Cape Girardeau, Mo. The body of the other boater, 60-year-old Mike Flythe of St. Louis, was found April 21. Authorities say the men's boat capsized near where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet on April 6.

   The Telegraph in Alton reports that Flythe's body was found about 15 miles away from the accident scene. Robinson's body was missing for 22 days and found about 100 miles away.

   One boy was rescued after the accident.

 

Published in Local News

   A man and his teenage son are safe after being rescued from the Mississippi River Tuesday evening.  

   About 6 p.m. the two had become stranded when their johnboat snagged on debris near the Ameren Rush Island power plant about 12 miles south of Crystal City.  

   The Coast Guard was unable to launch an immediate rescue operation because their nearby boat launches were all underwater.  

   Crews from the Jefferson County R-7 Fire Department did get a boat in the water and rescued the pair just before 8 p.m.  

   Both the father and his 15 year old son were treated for exposure, but are expected to recover.

Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Millions of gallons of raw sewage are pouring into the Mississippi River from a St. Louis wastewater treatment plant where two of three pumps have failed.

Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District spokesman Lance LeComb says the pumps went out on Sunday night, and it's unclear how quickly they may be fixed or replaced.

LeComb says the plant takes in 110 million gallons of sewage a day. While acknowledging the spillage's seriousness, he says the sewage that makes its way into the river is being diluted by the rain-swollen waterway.

He says the spill has been reported to the state.

The spill isn't likely to affect the river's recreational users, given that the currents are dangerously elevated. But many communities downriver from St. Louis draw their drinking water from the river.

Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A stretch of the Mississippi River near St. Louis is reopened to shipping after the Coast Guard concluded 11 barges that sank last weekend in the rain-swollen waterway weren't a hazard to navigation.

The 15-mile stretch was reopened Monday, while investigators continue trying to determine what caused 114 barges to break free Saturday night from where they were docked in St. Louis County.

Four of the barges hit the Jefferson Barracks Bridge spanning the river between Missouri and Illinois. Officials determined that the bridge was undamaged.

All of the barges that didn't sink were corralled.

Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty says the breakaway could have been caused by various factors related to the elevated current of the rain-swollen river.

Fogarty says efforts to salvage the sunken barges will begin soon.

   

Published in Local News

   A flood warning remains in effect for communities along the Mississippi River, including St. Louis.  

   As of 9:30 PM Sunday, the river was at at 33.7 feet in St. Louis, 3.7 feet above flood stage.

   The sight of so much water swamping the levy is drawing gawkers, locals as well as tourists, to the Arch grounds.

   Plenty of sightseers spent a sunny Sunday afternoon snapping pictures of the rising river, the water covering Lenore K. Sullivan Blvd. and the lower steps of the Arch just off the roadway.

   But the high river levels mean the current is so swift, huge logs and debris are being swept downstream, a reminder of why it is called the Mighty Mississippi.

   That strong current pulled more than 100 barges loose Saturday night, several hitting the JB Bridge, forcing its closure while an inspection was conducted.  MoDOT's check of the bridge showed no damage, so the span was reopened.  

   The river, however, remains closed to traffic because of concerns that some sunken barges may be blocking the navigation channel.  And more rain, expected Monday night and Tuesday, means it could be closed for some time.

Published in Local News
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