Mississippi River flooding causes lock closures

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Eight Mississippi River locks are closed between Muscatine, Iowa, and Saverton, Mo., because of flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers announced.

Mississippi River locks 16 through 24 were closed, a dramatic departure from just three months ago when the river had dropped to record lows and was nearly closed to commercial navigation, according to a Reuters report.

CBS St. Louis reported that as homeowners on both sides of the Mississippi River continued to clean up after Thursday’s flash floods, the Mississippi was not expected to crest until Tuesday in some areas.

“Almost every main stream river in our area is forecasted to go above the flood stage, and some of it is significant flooding,” National Weather Service senior forecaster Scott Truett told the station. He said the Missouri, Meramec, Mississippi and Illinois rivers were expected to flood.

The Mississippi is supposed to crest at 39.4 feet on the St. Louis riverfront next Tuesday, more than nine feet over flood stage. The high crest will shut down St. Louis harbor to all navigation.

Several roads in Jefferson City, Mo., are closed today because of flooding, the Missouri Department of Transportation told Channel 5, KSDK.

Flooding in Chicago was so severe that officials released wastewater into Lake Michigan, according to the Chicago Tribune. For the first time since July 2011, they opened locks and sluice gates separating the Chicago River system from the lake, allowing millions of gallons of raw and partially treated waste to flow with runoff into the water supply for 7 million people in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, the newspaper reported. Flooding in that area also forced some evacuations, sandbagging and a large sinkhole to open up as a half-foot of rain fell on the region.

Residents in Grand Rapids, Mich., were forced to evacuate because of flooding, reported the Detroit Free Press, and evacuations also were ordered in parts of the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming.

— Compiled by Reagan Haynes

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