Rivers top flood stage, but worst apparently over

Posted: Mar. 14, 2013 10:46 am Updated: Mar. 28, 2013 11:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Much of the recent snowmelt and rain came while soil beneath the surface as still frozen. Consequently, much of that moisture ran off into ponds, streams and rivers.

Many rivers, including the Mississippi River and some of the larger streams in Northeast Missouri, reached or exceeded technical flood levels in recent days, though the worst is now apparently over.

The National Weather Service in St. Louis this week issued a flood warning for several spots along the Mississippi River, including Quincy. The river was at 17.6 feet in Quincy Wednesday morning and had fallen to 17.1 feet by this morning. Technical flood stage at Quincy is 17 feet.

At Hannibal, Mo., the river this morning was at 17.8 feet, a drop of .35-foot from Wednesday. Flood stage in Hannibal is 16 feet.

In Northeast Missouri, meanwhile, several rivers went out of their banks earlier this week, including the North Fabius River near Taylor, where rushing water caused drifting material to jam up against some bridge abutments, prompting the Missouri Department of Transportation to reduce traffic to one lane for a time Wednesday on southbound U.S. 61/U.S. 24 so crews could remove the drift.

The situation was much better this morning. River gauges monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers show the Middle Fabius River near Ewing had dropped 10.5 feet since Wednesday and stood at 6.57 feet this morning. Likewise, the Wyaconda River near Canton had dropped 10.6 feet since Wednesday and stood at 8.54 feet this morning.

Major flooding is not being forecast. The most recent spring flood outlook issued by the NWS in late February flooding "remains unlikely at all points along the Mississippi River between Canton and Winfield."

The weather service said the locations most likely to experience flooding this spring were in Northeast Missouri -- the Middle Fabius River near Ewing and the North River at Palmyra.