Jeanette Bricker watches the Illinois River rises out of it’s banks surrounding and flooding her home Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in Spring Bay Ill. Floodwaters are rising to record levels along the Illinois River in central Illinois. . (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — More rain on Tuesday was the last thing flood fighters across the Midwest wanted to see, adding more water to swollen rivers now expected to remain high into next month.
Floodwaters were rising to record levels along the Illinois River in central Illinois. In Missouri, six small levees north of St. Louis were overtopped by the surging Mississippi River, though mostly farmland was affected.
The Mississippi and Illinois rivers have crested in some places, but that doesn’t mean the danger is over. The National Weather Service predicts a very slow descent, thanks in part to the additional rain expected to amount to an inch or so across several Midwestern states.
“The longer the crest, definitely, the more strain there is on the levee,” said Mike Petersen, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in St. Louis.
The biggest problem areas were in Illinois, on the Illinois River. In Peoria Heights, population 6,700, roads and buildings were flooded and riverfront structures were inundated. Firefighters feared that if fuel from businesses and vehicles starts to leak, it could spark a fire in areas that could be reached only by boat.
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