Spring flooding closes roads, bridges

Friday, May 31, 2013 | 1:42 p.m. CDT; updated 2:01 p.m. CDT, Friday, May 31, 2013

Here is news from around the state in the aftermath of flooding.

Rising rivers disrupt water traffic

ST. LOUIS — Heavy rains swelling the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are causing headaches for barge operators.

Locks that are being closed along the Mississippi River could snarl barges headed from St. Louis to Minnesota, as well as southbound shippers trying to get to St. Louis and then to the Gulf of Mexico.

Some companies already have shrunk their barge sizes to make the vessels more maneuverable in the stronger currents.

Four locks have been closed between the Missouri towns of Canton and Clarksville. A fifth will close Saturday.

The flooding follows months of drought that were equally hard on shippers. The Mississippi River reached near-historic lows in January, forcing lighter loads on barges so they wouldn't scrape the bottom. Officials also blasted rock and dredged to keep parts of the river passable.

Roads closed in Boone, surrounding counties

COLUMBIA — MoDOT  closed several roads around mid-Missouri due to flash flooding:

  • U.S. 40 in Boone County
  • Route Z in Cooper County
  • Route U in Cooper County
  • Route 179 in Moniteau County
  • Route BB in Morgan County
  • Route J in Morgan County

Bridge will shut down near Louisiana

LOUISIANA — MoDOT will close the Champ Clark Bridge on U.S. 54 at 7 p.m. Friday on the bridge approach on the Illinois side.

The next nearest river crossing is at Hannibal, Mo., 35 miles to the north.

Heavy rain has caused the Mississippi, Missouri and many other Midwestern rivers to rise above their banks. Some towns are expected to see crests of more than 10 feet above flood stage by early next week.

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