Worst Flooding in 20 Years Hits St. Louis Area

The U.S. Coast Guard closed a portion of the Mississippi River near St. Louis to traffic Dec. 29 because of high water, with the river expected to crest there Dec. 30.

The worst flooding in 20 years is affecting the St. Louis, Mo., area on Dec. 30, authorities there report. High water levels in several rivers are the cause after storms in the region; the Mississippi River's high levels caused the U.S. Coast Guard to close a portion of the river near St. Louis to traffic that day, and levee inspections have been increased near New Orleans, the New Orleans Times-Picayune's Robert Rhoden reported Dec. 29.

The river closure from mile marker 179 to mile marker 184 affected all vessel traffic and was in effect because of high water levels and fast currents as the river approached near-record levels at St. Louis.

Rhoden's report indicated the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East Levee District announced increased inspections of Mississippi River levees for signs of seepage. The river is expected to crest Jan. 9 at New Orleans at 17 feet, which is the official flood stage, according to his report, in which he wrote that daily levee inspections will begin when a "Phase II Flood Fight" is declared as the river level reaches 15 feet.

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