Levee breaks, river closure latest fallout from flooding

More rain means more worry in flooded parts of Midwest

Major flooding in Missouri kills at least 5; more rain expected

The flooding has killed five people in Missouri, inundated homes and forced hundreds of evacuations.

The murky waters of the Black River swell out of their banks in this view looking east with US 67, at left, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in Pocahontas, Ark.

In northeast Arkansas, a Black River levee was breached Wednesday morning near Pocahontas.

As of Tuesday, most of the Parkland and surrounding area had received anywhere from 7-12 inches of rain and the National Weather Service was forecasting it could receive anywhere between 2 and 4 additional inches through Thursday.

In northeast Arkansas, about 50 homes in Randolph County were destroyed or badly damaged when the Black River reached record levels.

In Missouri, a small levee breach along the Missouri River flooded farmland southwest of St. Louis.

According to NASA, some regions saw as much as 9-inches of rainfall in just a few days, and flooding has become pronounced along the Mississippi River.

The new rain won't cause most rivers to rise higher, but it will keep water levels dangerously elevated, said National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs. "Don't drown turn around, if you see standing water don't drive through it whatsoever". "When they go, we're going to have a wall of water pouring out". They said they usually can't leave home until the water recedes.

River levels are falling Thursday after record and near-record flooding in parts of the Midwest, but the crisis is far from over.

All of this water is moving downstream, threatening areas along the Mississippi River south of St. Louis, including Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and IL.

MoDOT reports that while I-44 is closed from I-270 to Route 100 in St. Louis and Franklin counties remains closed, the interstate has reopened at Hazelgreen in Laclede County.

A large area of eastern Missouri and southern IL remained under flood warnings on Thursday morning. The reopening lets traffic resume from St. Louis to Jefferson County.

"I have a daughter who has special needs who has appointments at the hospital and it was nearly impossible to for us to be able to get help", she said.

St. Louis County officials say 200 homes along the Meramec have been damaged and another 1,500 are potentially in harm's way. Two southern IL counties, Jackson and Franklin, declared disasters due to flood damage.

Aerial photos and other images from the St. Louis region and other parts of the central United States show the devastating impact of the flooding that has caused as many as a dozen deaths and shut down transportation in the area. In the St. Louis area, Interstate 44 and southbound Interstate 55 were closed, along with several other roads near the Meramec River, which turned normally minutes-long commutes into hours-long excursions.

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