St. Louis — One person is dead after being swept off a low-water bridge in southwest Missouri, and flood warnings continued throughout much of central and eastern Missouri on Sunday. The National Weather Service warned that more heavy rain could bring additional flash flooding.
The Mississippi River is expected to crest at nearly 6 feet above flood stage in St. Louis by midweek, and nearly 10 feet above flood stage in Cape Girardeau on Thursday.
Crest predictions could rise even higher, the weather service said, as parts of eastern Missouri south of St. Louis could get up to 9 additional inches of rain through Wednesday.
In southwest Missouri, near the town of Hardenville, a 54-year-old man died Saturday night after attempting to drive across a low-water crossing. The Ozark County Sheriff’s Office said David Langston was overcome by the strong current and swept out of his vehicle. His body was recovered about 100 yards downstream, officials said. A passenger in the vehicle tried to save him but was unsuccessful.
Rivers and creeks have already flooded. The Mississippi was at or approaching major flood stage in several communities Sunday. The Missouri River also was flooding, and many tributaries were rising.
Among the hardest hit areas so far is St. Francois County, about 70 miles southwest of St. Louis. Farmington fire crews have had to rescue several people from homes and cars over the past few days due to flash flooding. High water damaged a couple of apartment complexes, forcing residents to temporarily relocate.
The weather service also was concerned about flash flooding in southern Missouri, where the heaviest rainfall is expected through mid-week.
The Missouri Department of Transportation reported dozens of road and highway closures in eastern and southern Missouri. U.S. 61 has been shut down due to flooding near the Iowa border, and U.S. 160 was closed in several spots in far south-central Missouri.
State highway closures included sections of Highway 79 in Pike County, Route 125 near Branson, and Route 142 and Route 162 in southern Missouri.