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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A stretch of the Mississippi River near St. Louis is reopened to shipping after the Coast Guard concluded 11 barges that sank last weekend in the rain-swollen waterway weren't a hazard to navigation.
The 15-mile stretch was reopened Monday, while investigators continue trying to determine what caused 114 barges to break free Saturday night from where they were docked in St. Louis County.
Four of the barges hit the Jefferson Barracks Bridge spanning the river between Missouri and Illinois. Officials determined that the bridge was undamaged.
All of the barges that didn't sink were corralled.
Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty says the breakaway could have been caused by various factors related to the elevated current of the rain-swollen river.
Fogarty says efforts to salvage the sunken barges will begin soon.
"The rain is not gonna help us at all and it could hurt us. Depends on how much rain we get." That's Foley Missouri alderman Ken Jaspering talking about efforts to keep the Mississippi River from flooding the tiny town of 161.Some 500 people including a half dozen inmates pitched in on Monday to help sandbag.
So what about today's (Tuesday's) rain? Jaspering tells KTRS' Michael Golde, "I've been here since 1940 (laughs) so I've seen some stuff. But it shouldn't get as bad as 2008."
Authorities say makeshift levees mostly held back the water in communities along the Mississippi River and other Midwestern waterways.
An inch of rain is expected to fall today on a wide swath of the country from Oklahoma to Michigan.
In Illinois--Governor Pat Quinn says emergency workers dealing with the growing flood threat near Peoria are also dealing with people checking out the swollen river:
'This is not a river to get on. The Illinois River or any of its tributaries. They're very swollen. Same way with the Mississippi River. We don't want people taking chances coming near the river. The current is much stronger than ever. We have boats. We've rescued a lot of people."
LEADWOOD, Mo. (AP) - A Leadwood, Missouri man is being credited with saving the life of a 12-year-old boy, jumping into a flooded river to pull the child to safety.
The Park Hills Daily Journal reports that the child, from Leadwood, Mo., is hospitalized in critical but stable condition after being rescued Sunday evening from the Big River.
Witnesses and police say the boy and two others were trying to cross a bridge that was flooding. The boy fell into the water near a culvert pipe and the force of the water sucked him into the pipe.
He emerged from the other end of the pipe and was floating down the swift-moving river when resident Robert Salsberry was able to grab the boy, pull him to a small island and perform CPR.