Persistent rainfall has caused the Mississippi River to rise rapidly over the last week.
The river was 16.5 feet on Thursday at St. Louis. By Tuesday it was 23.3 feet and rising. However, it remains well below the 30-foot flood stage.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Mike Petersen says a surge of water from upstream has caused a problem with driftwood and other debris. He says large clumps of trees and garbage can jam up locks and water intakes and make it difficult for barge tows and other boats to maneuver.
The National Weather Service forecasts if the St. Louis area doesn’t get a large amount of rain the rest of the week, river levels should fall to the 16-foot level in coming days.