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   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois farmers still can't begin planting their corn crops due to muddy fields caused by the heavy rains that inundated the state in recent weeks.

   The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that as of Monday there's been no significant planting done in Illinois because many fields are simply too wet for farmers to get out in them in tractors.

   The USDA says just 1 percent of the state's corn crop has been sown. This time last year, three-quarter of the state's cornfields were planted, more than double the five-year average of 36 percent.

   Nationwide among key farming states, 4 percent of the corn crop is in the ground, down from 49 percent a year ago at this time.

 
Published in Local News

   With rains on the way and levees around the soccer fields already pushed to the brink, the St. Louis Youth Soccer Association has canceled this year's Lou Fusz Soccer Club Midwest Cup. 

Floodwater continues to threaten the area around Newtown and Highway 370 in St. Charles. The water is near the top of an agriculture levee next to the St. Louis Youth Soccer Association (SLYSA) fields.  '

   Instead of getting ready to hit the fields, youth soccer players and coaches have been working alongside the National Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and St. Charles firefighters to reinforce more than a mile-long stretch of a levee near the field.

   St. Charles Fire Chief Rick Daly says keeping the wall intact is about a lot more than protecting the soccer field. "If the levee fails here," he said, "it can potentially compromise areas in both the city and the county, and we don’t want that to happen."

 

 
Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Levels of the Mississippi River are slowly dropping at places north of St. Louis, slowly rising to the south.

By Wednesday afternoon, a few smaller levees had been overtopped or breached, especially in Lincoln and Pike counties. But the makeshift levees in Clarksville, Mo., and Dutchtown, Mo., were holding. There were no reports of any Missouri towns in imminent danger.

A father and son were rescued from the river Tuesday near Crystal City after their small fishing boat became blocked by debris. Rescue crews advised staying off the river during flooding.

The Mississippi is expected to crest by Thursday morning in the Cape Girardeau area, but it will remain well above flood stage at most Missouri towns into next month.

Flooding also continues on the Missouri and smaller rivers.

 

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

   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

Flooding on the Mississippi River is being blamed for a barge accident that has partially shut down the JB Bridge.

The Coast Guard says as many as 85 barges broke loose overnight. High and fast water dragged those barges downstream, with at least one sinking.

Officials say up to four barges were stuck to the bridge last night. MoDOT says the bridge was designed to handle the collision, but they still shut it down to conduct inspections.

Published in Local News

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.

Published in Local News
Saturday, 20 April 2013 07:17

Major bridge into Quincy, IL, closed

WEST QUINCY, Mo. (AP) — One Mississippi River bridge connecting Missouri and Illinois is now closed due to the fast-rising river, and a second one is scheduled to close on Saturday.

The Quincy Memorial Bridge connecting Quincy, Illinois and West Quincy, Missouri was closed Friday afternoon. A second bridge at Quincy remains open.

Transportation officials say the Champ Clark bridge at Louisiana, Missouri will close at noon today as the river is rising near the eastern approach to the bridge.

Several inches of rain in recent days has caused flooding on the Mississippi. It is expected to crest at many spots this weekend but remain high for several days after that.

Published in Local News

Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency after the flash flooding yesterday and in anticipation of further flooding expected this weekend.

Nixon is sending Missouri National Guard members to Clarksville and other cities along the Mississippir. The State Emergency Operations Center is also monitoring the flooding and is coordinating with local agencies to provide emergency services. 

Published in Local News

In Clarksville, Missouri--which is about 75 miles northwest of St. Louis--volunteers are still needed to help with fill sandbags.

The town is currently experiencing minor flooding, but that is expected to be upgraded to major flooding by Friday night. The United Way and AmeriCorps are coordinating the volunteers and anyone 13 and older can sign up to help on the United Way's website. Volunteers between 13 and 18 years old need a guardian to sign up.

Officials say hundreds of volunteers are needed to save a historic portion of the Mississippi River town.

Volunteers can sign up by clicking here.

Published in Local News
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