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Mississippi River nears crest, but more rain is seen ahead

Keywords: Tags  Mississipi River, flooding, Ohio River, barge traffic, U.S. Army Corps of Engneers, U.S. Coast Guard, rainfall, snow melt Colin Fogarty

CHICAGO — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ daily river gauge report showed the Mississippi River reaching 34.8 feet at St. Louis on April 23, nearly 5 feet above flood stage, with forecasts calling for the river to reach 35.5 feet April 24 before falling again.

At Thebes, Ill.—where the Army Corps of Engineers hired contractors to dynamite exposed rock pinnacles this past winter due to record-low water levels (, March 5)—the river was 5.7 feet above its 33-foot flood stage April 23, and is expected to crest at 40.5 feet April 25.

The Mississippi is expected to crest at 48 feet April 26, 8 feet above flood stage, at Cairo, Ill., where it meets the Ohio River.

"We’re getting more rain. We had expected most gauges would crest April 23 and 24, but this rain is pushing that forward," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty. "A big snow melt will be kicking in this weekend on the Missouri, which raises concerns for the Red River. We have more than one river vying for our attention."

As a result, "some channels may not be properly marked due to debris, and flooding took out aids to navigation. We are waiting for an opportunity to correct those. We could put out more aids now, but if we laid them, they would be gone in 48 hours," Fogarty said. "We are battling these rivers in more ways than one."

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