Rivers start to drop, but flood crisis isn't over yet

  • Rivers start to drop, but flood crisis isn't over yet

Rivers start to drop, but flood crisis isn't over yet

Up to a foot of rain fell across the northern part of Arkansas the last weekend of April, resulting in flash flood events.

A concrete company, bottom, a Wal-Mart, top center, and other businesses are under water Wednesday May 3, 2017, along US 67 in the heavily flooded East Pocahontas, Ark. Additional storms passing through the state Wednesday only exacerbated the situation.

"The cresting of Meramec River is the beginning of the light at the end of the tunnel", said MoDOT-St. 63 east of Portia, Ark.

Water levels are also relatively lower on the Ohio River. Wednesday May 3, 2017.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings and watches along waterways from eastern Texas north through IN and into northwestern OH as forecasters expected most of the rivers across the U.S. Midwest to crest over the weekend.

And even when residents are aware of the risk, they often can't do much about it. Five of those deaths have been from Missouri flooding alone, while an 18-month-old girl in Arkansas was swept away by floodwaters and is presumed dead. Paducah's crest of 41 feet on Wednesday will cause only minor flooding. Video out of Lafayette, Louisiana shows a school bus trying to navigate through a flooded roadway earlier this week.

Missouri is not in the clear yet, as flooding concerns are focused on the larger rivers, the Missouri and the MS, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy rains caused an abrupt rise in rivers located in Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas.

Smaller rivers like the Black River in northeast Arkansas are leaving their devastating marks as well on thousands of acres of row crops.

The river's cresting - the highest stage or level of a flood wave - was due to affect communities in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. But the mess left behind was substantial.

"The Rosecrans Air National Guard base is an important asset to this community, our state and our nation", then-Gov.

The Meramec River crested early Thursday morning and MoDOT crews began opening lanes as the water receded.

The Meramec River in suburban St. Louis also is on the decline. Residents of the levee-protected part of Valley Park, Missouri, are to return home Friday.

Health officials also warned residents that raw sewage, chemicals and other unsafe material in floodwater created contamination concerns.

Flood warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for the stretch of the Black River and the waterways it feeds that pass through Randolph, Lawrence, Clay and Jackson counties as well as specific warnings for the Little Red River at Judsonia, the Cache River near Patterson and the White River at Batesville, among others. The flooding impacted more than 100 highways in the St. Louis region, according to Tom Blair, an official with the Missouri Department of Transportation. That allows traffic between St. Louis and Jefferson counties to resume. People who live south of St. Louis are watching and waiting while river levels keep rising.

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