Some rivers receding, but threat remains

Heavy rainfall created significant flooding on the Grand River in Kent County on April 19, 2013.
Heavy rainfall created significant flooding on the Grand River in Kent County on April 19, 2013.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (AP) – The Grand River in Grand Rapids, Mich., is expected to fall below flood stage today. And some of the people who were evacuated from their homes have been allowed to return.

But across the Midwest, other waterways remain above flood level.

Tens of thousands of white and yellow sandbags are stacked three feet high along the scenic riverfront of Peoria, Illinois. They’re holding back floodwaters that have already surrounded the visitors’ center and restaurants in the city’s former train depot. The Illinois River finally crested in Peoria yesterday at more than 29 feet, breaking a record that goes back 70 years. Authorities say the flood will take an economic toll on the city, but so far, no lives have been lost.

In Missouri, levels of the Mississippi River are slowly dropping at places north of St. Louis, slowly rising to the south. A few smaller levees have been overtopped or breached. But the makeshift levees in Clarksville and Dutchtown are holding. There were no reports of any Missouri towns in imminent danger.

The Mississippi is expected to crest by tomorrow morning in the Cape Girardeau area, but it will remain well above flood stage at most Missouri towns into next month.

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