Daily Updates

April 23, 2013

More rain expected for already swollen rivers

CLARKSVILLE, Mo. — Communities along the Mississippi River and other Midwestern waterways eyed and in some cases fortified makeshift levees holding back floodwaters that meteorologists said could worsen or be prolonged by looming storms.

Overnight rain from Oklahoma to Michigan led the National Weather Service to heighten the forecast crest of some stretches of rivers while blunting the retreat of other waterways.

Mark Fuchs, a National Weather Service hydrologist, said the latest dousing could be especially troublesome for communities along the Illinois River, which is headed for record crests.

“Along the Illinois, any increase is going to be cause for alarm, adding to their uncertainty and, in some cases, misery,” he said late Monday afternoon.

Last week’s downpours brought on sudden flooding throughout the Midwest, and high water is blamed for at least three deaths. Authorities in LaSalle, Ill., spent Monday searching for a woman whose van was spotted days earlier near a bridge, and a 12-year-old boy was in critical condition after being pulled from a river near Leadwood, Mo., about 65 miles south of St. Louis.

Shipping resumed Tuesday along a 15-mile stretch of the Mississippi near St. Louis after the Coast Guard said 11 barges that sank last weekend in the rain-swollen waterway were not a hazard to navigation.

Investigators were trying to determine what caused 114 barges to break loose in St. Louis County. Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty said drifting debris such as trees can collect under docked barges, and that this may have weighed on the fleet and the lines that secured them to shore.

Fogarty said efforts to salvage the sunken barges would begin soon.

The prospect of additional rain was not welcome in Clarksville, Mo., about 70 miles north of St. Louis.

Days ago bused-in prison inmates worked shoulder to shoulder with the National Guard and local volunteers to build a makeshift floodwall of sand and gravel. But on Monday the barrier showed signs of strain. Crews scrambled to patch trouble spots and build a second sandbag wall to catch any water weaseling through.

In Grafton, Ill., some 40 miles northeast of St. Louis, Mayor Tom Thompson said the small community was holding its own; by early Monday afternoon the Mississippi was 10 feet above flood stage. Waters lapped against some downtown buildings, forcing shops such as Hawg Pit BBQ to clear out and detours to be established around town. One key intersection was under 8 inches of water.

“If it gets another foot (higher), it’s going to become another issue,” Thompson said. Townsfolk “are kinda watching and holding their breath. ... Some things are going to really be close to the wire.”

Elsewhere, smaller rivers caused big problems. In Grand Rapids, Mich., the Grand River hit a record 21.85 feet, driving hundreds of people from their homes and flooding parts of downtown.

Spots south of St. Louis aren’t expected to crest until late this week, and significant flooding is possible in places like Ste. Genevieve, Mo., Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Cairo, Ill. Further downriver, flood warnings have been issued for Kentucky and Tennessee.

1
Text Only
Daily Updates
  • Indian film awards arrive in Tampa, Fla., but why?

    The so-called Bollywood Oscars have been held in Macau, Singapore, London — and now, Tampa?

    April 23, 2014

  • Indictment: Prosecutor targeted in kidnapping plot

    A North Carolina prosecutor was the intended target of an elaborate kidnapping plot, but the kidnappers looked up the wrong address on the Internet and abducted the prosecutor’s father instead, according to an indictment released Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Republican activists push party on gay marriage

    As bans against gay marriage crumble and public opinion on the issue shifts rapidly, some Republicans are pushing the party to drop its opposition to same-sex unions, part of a broader campaign to get the GOP to appeal to younger voters by de-emphasizing social issues.

    April 23, 2014

  • Missouri executes inmate for 1993 farm slaying

    Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday only a few miles from the farm where prosecutors say he orchestrated the 1993 killing of a couple whose cows he wanted to steal.

    April 23, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Wednesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday.

    April 22, 2014

  • In Other News, April 22

    April 22, 2014

  • A bipolar doctor probes the brain on 'Black Box’

    ABC’s brainy new medical drama “Black Box” does a neat trick: It dares viewers to imagine for themselves the cost-benefit ratio of addiction, and does it without taking a firm stand.

    April 22, 2014

  • Courthouse violence unpredictable despite security

    When Utah’s new federal courthouse opened last week, it came with security improvements that are becoming standard around the country: separate entrances and elevators for judges, defendants and the public; bullet-resistant glass and paneling; and vehicle barricades to keep car bombs at bay.

    April 22, 2014

  • Lucey is tops in Iowa’s ‘Beautiful Bulldog’ event

    Lucey is a slobbering 18-month-old pooch whose human family dreams of making her a therapy dog.

    April 22, 2014

  • Cuban-American leaders helped ’Cuban Twitter’

    Leaders with the largest nonprofit organization for young Cuban-Americans quietly provided strategic support for the federal government’s secret “Cuban Twitter” program, connecting contractors with potential investors and even serving as paid consultants, The Associated Press has learned.

    April 22, 2014