Heavy rains raise flood concerns for Missouri river towns

Friday, April 22, 2011 | 11:20 a.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Forecasters are saying several inches of rain could fall over the mid-Mississippi River valley throughout the next several days. The timing couldn't be worse: The river is already spilling over its banks.

Flood levels are inching close to major levels at several Mississippi River towns. Hannibal, Clarksville, and Louisiana, Mo., are already seeing river stages more than 5 feet above flood stage, and the water is rising. Even Cape Girardeau in southeast Missouri is reporting a river level a couple of feet over flood stage.

The National Weather Service was calling for heavy rain through Friday, with a system stalling over the Midwest and continuing to produce rain well into next week. Some areas could get up to 5 inches of rain by Saturday night. Flood and flash flood warnings are effective for several counties.

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