ST. LOUIS (AP) — The fast-rising Mississippi River is nearing levels unseen since a historic 1993 flood, threatening levees and forcing people living near the bulging Big Muddy to move to higher ground.
Parts of downtown Davenport, Iowa, remain underwater after the river tore through a temporary barrier. By Thursday, the river was within inches of the 1993 all-time high, and expected to top it.
Two Mississippi River bridges — one at Quincy, Illinois, and another at Louisiana, Missouri — have been forced to close.
In West Alton, Missouri, 20 miles (30 kilometers) north of St. Louis, the 500 or so residents were under a voluntary evacuation as the river was expected to crest a half-foot higher than the levee can hold. Officials say the levee is so long that sandbagging isn’t an option.