At least 20 people have been killed by severe flooding in Missouri, where several towns along the Mississippi River have been forced to evacuate due to rising floodwaters that are predicted to break records in the next few days. Such catastrophic, widespread flooding hasn’t been seen in the region in over two decades.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) December 30, 2015
River levels in some areas expected to match – or exceed – records set in ’93. State actively working w/ locals to prepare & respond #mowx
— Governor Jay Nixon (@GovJayNixon) December 29, 2015
Earlier this week, Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. He has warned residents to avoid traveling throughout affected areas. Many who were killed were reportedly driving into flooded zones.
— Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) December 30, 2015
Scenes from towns along the Mississippi this New Years. This river is not supposed to flood in December pic.twitter.com/pvtMIZw0U8
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) December 30, 2015
The St. Louis Dispatch reports several major highways have been shut down throughout Missouri. Untreated sewage from a nearby treatment plant was also spotted flowing into the Meramec River. On the other side of the Mississippi, in Illinois, inmates at a state prison were also transferred.
As of Wednesday, federal officials were continuing to monitor 19 levees in the region.