The Latest: Man dies after vehicle swept off Missouri road
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Midwest (all times local):
Authorities say a Missouri man has died after his vehicle was swept off a road near a flooded creek, marking the 10th death blamed on flooding in the Midwest.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a 69-year-old man from the southern Missouri town of Salem died Thursday night after trying to cross a flooded road across Dry Fork Creek. His body was recovered several hours later.
Heavy downpours last weekend caused waterways to surge in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois and other states. Six deaths are now blamed on flooding in Missouri, while four occurred in Arkansas.
Rain returned Wednesday and Thursday, causing more flash-flooding in some places. The forecast calls for mostly dry weather for several days.
Another stretch of the Mississippi River has been closed to all traffic amid flooding.
The U.S. Coast Guard has closed a 77-mile stretch of the river in Illinois from Chester to Cairo. The span was closed Thursday night and is in addition to a 14.5-mile stretch of river closed earlier in the week in St. Louis.
Heavy rain last weekend led to significant flooding in several Midwestern states. Most rivers are now receding, but the Mississippi River is still rising in some spots. Crests are expected over the weekend in communities south of St. Louis.
It’s unclear when vessel traffic will be allowed to resume along the Mississippi. The shutdown sidelines barges that carry agricultural goods and other products.
More sandbags are being piled on top of levees in an evacuated eastern Missouri city, but local officials are confident the area will stay dry as floodwaters recede.
West Alton’s 500 residents live near the confluence of the nation’s two largest rivers, the Missouri and the Mississippi. Both rivers were at major flood stage Friday and water was seeping over levees at West Alton.
But emergency manager Gary Machens says sandbags are being placed to stop the water, and he’s confident the levees will hold.
Heavy rainfall last weekend led to a sudden surge in rivers across several Midwestern states. Nine deaths have been blamed on flooding so far: five in Missouri and four in Arkansas.
Most smaller rivers are falling sharply, but the Mississippi is expected to crest over the weekend in some towns in Missouri and Illinois.