MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Mayors from cities along the Mississippi River are calling on Congress to increase funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for infrastructure improvements and dredging projects that keep commerce flowing on the waterway.
Leaders of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative and the Delta Regional Authority addressed media Thursday after meeting in Memphis to discuss the Mississippi River economy.
River ports have dealt with flooding and drought since 2011, causing water levels to reach near-record highs and hazardous lows in a span of months.
Mayor Larry Brown of Natchez, Mississippi said the Corps does all it can to maintain river commerce, but it does not get enough congressional funding to deal with dredging and infrastructure problems. Some ports relied on local funding for dredging projects in recent years.
PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. (AP) - The body of a 27-year-old boater missing for nearly a month has been found in the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri.
KFVS-TV reports that tug boat workers on Thursday found the body of 27-year-old Christopher Wescoat near a grain terminal in Portageville.
Wescoat had been missing since a boating accident on Sept. 16 near New Madrid, Mo.
Authorities are still unable to identify the body of a young woman that washed up on the banks of the Mississippi River in the Hannibal area.
The Marion County Sheriff is asking for the public's help to ID the body. The victim was apparently 15 to 30 years of age, 5-foot-3 and weighing about 135 pounds with shoulder-length black hair.
A massive amount of untreated sewage found its way into the Mississippi River Wednesday.
The spill, which happened at an MSD Treatment Plant in North St. Louis, released 3.5 million gallons of wastewater. Officials with the Metropolitan Sewer District say the plant suffered a power outage just after noon on Wednesday. Within two hours, officials say they restored power and operations resumed.
MSD says any spill is unacceptable, but they are confident there is a minimal risk to the health of people or the environment. The spill occurred in a part of the river not commonly used for recreation and drinking water suppliers commonly test for bacteria. An incident report has been filed with the Department of Natural Resources.
Business owners in Grafton, Illinois expect the tourist trade to pick up after this Friday. That's when the Grafton Ferry will start running again after being closed for the past three years. The ferry spans the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers between Missouri and Illinois.
The city of Grafton bought the landings and spent $200,000 dredging the river to remove silt buildup. The city is working on a federal grant to help cover the cost of maintaining the channel.
The 12 minute ferry ride from St. Charles to Grafton will cost $8 one way, $15 round trip. The ferry will operate from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The city will celebrate the reopening with a public ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:00 a.m. Friday morning at the Grafton launch.
A woman who disappeared while kayaking on the Mississippi Rive near Portage des Sioux Thursday night is safe.
The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that the woman had launched into the river near the My River Home marina in northern St. Charles County around 7 p.m.. She had been gone more than two hours when friends and family became concerned and called for help.
Rescue boats were launched around 10 p.m.
A Missouri Water Patrol team found the woman about 11 p.m. She was shouting for help from an island after being dumped into the river when her kayak flipped.
Life is slowly returning to normal in the river town of Grafton, Illinois.
The Great River Road has reopened. Raging Rivers Water Park in Grafton will reopen Tuesday morning at 10:30, one week after the flooded Mississippi River forced it to close.
The Mississippi continues to recede, but hasn't returned to its banks just yet. Travel on Highway 67 between the Clark Bridge and Highway 94 in West Alton is still just one lane in each direction.
Flooding along the Mississippi River is forcing some St. Charles County residents out of their homes. That's because the Lincoln-Shield levee along the Mississippi River was breached Monday evening.
West Alton officials and the Rivers Pointe Fire Chief issued an alert about 8:30 p.m. advising residents to evacuate. The evacuation order is voluntary, not mandatory.
The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings for eastern St. Charles County through 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The weather service also warned that “residents living on streams and creeks should take immediate precautions.”
The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that southbound Highway 67 was closed between the Clark Bridge and Highway 94 as a result of the flooding after a temporary barricade erected by MoDOT failed. Northbound 67 remains open at this hour.
LOUISIANA, Mo. (AP) - The rising Mississippi River is forcing closure of a bridge at Louisiana, Mo.
The Missouri Department of Transportation announced Friday morning that the Champ Clark Bridge on U.S. 54 would close at 7 p.m. Friday due to flooding on the bridge approach on the Illinois side.
The closure creates an inconvenience for travelers - 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.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Rivers in the nation's heartland are rising yet again, and with heavy rain in the forecast, parts of Iowa, Missouri and Illinois are bracing for another round of flooding.
The National Weather Service said Wednesday that 2 to 4 inches of rain will be common as strong storms fire up through Friday; some areas could see up to 6 inches.
How bad things get will depend on how much rain falls and where.
The weather service says a worst-case scenario would be widespread heavy rain along the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, and along the Missouri River. The Mississippi and many of its tributaries are already above flood stage, and the Missouri is getting close.
Forecasters say the Mississippi could reach its highest level at St. Louis in nearly two decades.