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.
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.
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.
CLARKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) — People in the eastern Missouri hamlet of Clarksville are getting a boost from the Missouri National Guard and even from prison inmates as they battle the surging Mississippi River.
The river is expected to crest nearly 11 feet above flood stage on Sunday at Clarksville, an unprotected town of 442 residents about 60 miles north of St. Louis. Residents and volunteers have built a makeshift levee made of gravel, plastic overlay and sandbags. On Saturday, attention turned to making sure the sandbag levee is sturdy enough to hold back the water.
Governor Jay Nixon visited Clarksville on Saturday.
Flooding continues to be a problem in the St. Louis metro area as rain-swollen creeks remain out of their banks.
Now the National Weather Service is warning that the Mighty Mississippi will likely over-spill it's banks in the next few days. A flood warning has been issued for communities along the river from Canton, Missouri -- north of Hannibal, to Chester, Illinois. That warning includes the riverfront in St. Louis.
Officials say the Mississippi will rise above flood stage by Friday evening. It's expected to crest at around 39.4 feet by Tuesday morning.
A bad turn in their Smart car plunges two men into the Mississippi River this morning.
They were able to escape on their own but but were helped up the riverbank near Mullanphy Street north of downtown by rescue workers just after 10 a.m.
Both were treated at the scene by paramedics, but their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. One had his arm put in a sling by rescue workers.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports officials say it appeared the men were trying to turn the vehicle around when they backed over the embankment and into the water.
What began as a river rescue is now a recovery operation.
A small fishing boat capsized on the Mississippi River Saturday afternoon, dumping two men and a 10 year old boy into the wind torn water.
A towboat crew found the boy and pulled him to safety.
More than two dozen fire and rescue crews spent the day Sunday searching for the boy's step-father and another man, but both are still missing. Hartford Fire Assistant Chief Bill Owens says they searched in the water and along the banks from Hartford, Illinois south to the Chain of Rocks Bridge.
By Sunday afternoon Owens expressed little hope that the men would be found alive.
Owens says the boy was wearing a life jacket when he was pulled from the water. It's not known if the men were wearing theirs, since two life jackets have been found in the area.
Crews will resume searching Monday morning using sonar provided by the Illinois Conservation Department.
The river reached an historic low at St. Louis on January first - the ninth lowest level ever recorded, and just a foot-and-a-half above the record low. Since then, snowfall and rain across the Midwest have brought the Mississippi back up to normal levels.
Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Mike Petersen told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they believe the worst is over. But Petersen cautioned that low water levels could return if the drought persists in the Midwest.
The Army Corps of Engineers has been using two dredges, one from Memphis, Tenn., the other from St. Louis, to help keep the river channel clear. The work has been especially important this winter because the river level has been near historic lows, threatening barge traffic.
The corps says the dredges need seasonal maintenance, and crews are due for time off. The dredging season normally ends in November but was extended in the so-far successful fight to keep the river open.
The two dredges removed more than 8 million cubic yards of sediment in the last six months in the area between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill. The corps says that is more than twice the normal amount.