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Mississippi closed near St. Louis after river breaks 1993 flood record, $2m for roads

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 3, 2019
The U.S. Coast Guard said it closed the Mississippi River near St. Louis to boat and barge traffic as excessive rains and heavy snow melt swelled the major shipping waterway.
Mississippi flood
America   The previous record was set in June 1993
The river is closed from river mile marker 179 to 184, the Coast Guard said.

“The Mississippi is closed to all vessel traffic due to extremely high water levels and fast-moving currents,” said U.S. Coast Guard public affairs officer Brandon Giles.

The river will reopen “as soon as conditions improve,” he said, but would not speculate on when that would be.

The Mississippi River broke a quarter-century flooding record at Rock Island, Illinois.

Levels rose 7.7 feet (2.3 meters) above flood stage as of 8 a.m. local time, the National Weather Service said. Rock Island is about 175 miles (282 kilometers) west of Chicago. The previous record was set in June 1993 when the upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers broke their banks, inundating the Midwest countryside.

While the Mississippi is high now and the region has had a lot of rain and snow in the last few months, in 1993 “we had rain after rain after rain throughout the spring and summer,’’ said Justin Palmer, a hydrologist with the U.S. North Central River Forecast Center in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Friday that it will steer $2 million in emergency funding to repair roads and bridges damaged by floods in Missouri.

Flooding in March caused an estimated $10 million in damage and led to 215 road closures in 55 counties, the agency said. As of last week, 46 roads remained closed because of the flooding.