AP NEWS

The Latest: Rain causing Midwestern rivers to rise again

May 7, 2019
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Alley Ringhausen uses sandbags to shore up the wall he and other volunteers built around the Riverview House in Elsah, Ill., as floodwater from the Mississippi River seeps through a makeshift barrier on Monday, May 6, 2019. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Midwest (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

Midwestern rivers are on the rise again, the result of another round of heavy rain. And with more rain in the forecast, the National Weather Service expects a spike in water levels at many places.

Parts of the central U.S. are expected to see 3 inches of rain or more this week. The Mississippi and Missouri rivers and their tributaries are already flooding, and soil is saturated, so that additional water will only make flooding worse.

The weather service on Tuesday said it expects the Missouri and Illinois rivers in particular to be impacted by the rain. The Missouri River is expected to rise around 4 feet by Friday at Atchison, Kansas, and St. Joseph, Missouri, and by 5 1/2 feet by Sunday at Boonville, Missouri.

The Illinois River is expected to reach a record high at Valley City, Illinois, by Sunday, and get to near-record levels at several other spots in western Illinois.

The new crests will mostly impact agricultural land and force additional road closures.

The good news is that the forecast calls for mostly dry weather for several days starting late this week.

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11 a.m.

Residents of a small Missouri town are busy sandbagging yet another levee being threatened by the seemingly ceaseless flood of 2019.

The Pin Oak Levee protects a little over 100 homes in the low-lying area of Winfield, a Mississippi River community of 1,400 residents 45 miles northwest of St. Louis. The river reached its fourth-highest level ever Monday at Winfield, and while it is starting to drop, the pressure on the levee was concerning enough that residents were urged to have bags packed just in case.

Waves of flooding that began in March have caused significant damage to farmland, homes and businesses throughout the Midwest since March. At least seven deaths over the past two months have been blamed on flooding.

The worst may not be over. Potentially heavy rain over the central U.S. this week threatens to keep the rivers high.

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7:10 a.m.

Another round of rain has led to more flash flood watches across the Midwest.

The National Weather Service issued the watches Tuesday for parts of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. And communities along the Mississippi River remained under flood warnings as high water levels made their way downstream, closing roads and shutting off regional locks and dams to navigation.

In eastern Missouri, about seven levee systems have either been overtopped or breached in Pike County, while a couple more were broken in St. Charles County.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that near Granite City, Illinois, a levee failure south of a Chouteau Island intake facility for Illinois American Water caused the utility to issue a mandatory water conservation order to all of its 92,000 Metro East customers.