Midwest U.S. deals with weekend flooding, expects more rain

April 22, 2013 at 2:54 PM
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VICKSBURG, Miss., April 22 (UPI) -- Midwestern states expect additional rain and snow, from Monday through Wednesday, that will slow the decline of floodwaters, authorities said.

Last week 3- to 7 inches of rain fell on already saturated land in portions of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, and the additional anticipated rainfall will likely slow the recession of river levels and cause minor rises at some locations, Accuweather.com reported Monday.

It added, though, it would take more than the expected 1- to 2 inches of rain to approach last week's flood levels.

About 30 barges broke free on the Mississippi River from St. Louis to Vicksburg, Miss., during the weekend due to increasing flow and rising water levels along the river, the National Weather Service said.

Southbound traffic on the river was closed by the U.S. Coast Guard. Several of the barges, carrying coal and grain, sank, a Coast Guard press release said Monday.

In Michigan, the Grand River in Grand Rapids hit a record crest of 21.85 feet late Sunday night, and remains above flood stage, the news website Mlive.com reported Monday.

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell declared a state of emergency, as did elected officials of several nearby counties, and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Monday his administration is "closely monitoring" the flooding in Kent County, which includes the city of Grand Rapids.

Residents of Clarksville, Mo., on the Mississippi River, spent the weekend shoring up defenses against the flood as the river crested at 34.7 feet Sunday, the fourth-highest in the city's history. Among those singled out for praise in installing sandbags between the river and the city were volunteers from the Missouri National Guard, the Boy Scouts, the Missouri Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Team and women from nearby Vandalia prison, the Quincy, Ill., Herald-Whig said Monday.

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