The Mississippi River level at Hannibal on Friday, April 19, was 25.5 feet, with the predicted crest at 28.4 on Sunday, April 21.
The river crest was forecast for noon Sunday, said John Hark, Hannibal and Marion County director of emergency management.
“We know we have almost three feet coming, and we are doing all we can do” to prepare for it, Hark reported. All five flood gates have been installed in Hannibal’s flood wall.
Hark noted that “people keep driving through the water (from Bear Creek) and need to stop. His message to anyone who refuses to stop driving through the water is “stop or you will be arrested.”
The Mark Twain Memorial Bridge at Hannibal has remained open, but the flooding Mississippi has caused one bridge closure and another is expected Saturday, April 20. The eastbound Memorial Bridge at Quincy, Ill., was closed by high water at approximately 11:30 a.m. Friday, but two-way traffic continued on the westbound bridge. The bridge was closed by llinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) crews. Eastbound traffic was detoured to the westbound Quincy Bayview Bridge, with two-way traffic to continue until the flooding receded.
Pedestrian traffic is prohibited on the Memorial Bridge, according to the Quincy Police Department. MoDOT reported motorists will need to follow the detoured route or consider other local routes, such as the Hannibal bridge.
The second possible closure of a Mississippi River bridge in Northeast Missouri was the Champ Clark Bridge on U.S. 54 at Louisiana in Pike County, Mo. Mike Reed, superintendent of the Sny Island Levee, reported the bridge was expected to be closed today, April 20.
The bridge approach on the Missouri side at Louisiana sits on a bluff and is not endangered, but the Illinois approach at Pike Station is lower. The road cuts through the Sny Island levee.
At 1 p.m. Friday, MoDOT crews closed state Highway 79 south of Hannibal due to water over the road. The road was closed just south of the entrances to Sawyers Creek and Mark Twain Cave. Motorists traveling southbound on 79 are to detour over Routes T and N to 79. All commercial vehicles must use U.S. 61 to Business 61 and Route V in New London, then proceed on Routes T and N back to 79. Detour signs and message boards are in place to advise motorists of the road closure and alternate routes.
At 1:30 p.m. Friday MoDOT reported several Northeast Missouri highways and roads had been reopened since being flooded, with the following roads remaining closed:
• Ralls County - MO 154 closed from Blue Jay Road to Hickory Creek; MO 79 south of Hannibal south of the entrances to Sawyers Creek and Mark Twain Cave.
• Monroe County - MO 151 one mile north of Route K at Middle Fork Salt River north of Madison; Route A at Otter Creek east of Woodlawn; Route C at Long Branch located between Route M and the Audrain County line; Route J at Middle Fork Salt River at Duncans Bridge ½ mile south of MO 151.
Page 2 of 2 - • Pike County - MO 79 south of U.S. 54 in Louisiana closed from S. Carolina to Delaware streets; Route P east of levee at the Mississippi River access.
• Shelby County - MO 151 at North Fork Salt River north of Clarence near Route K near Hagers Grove; Route N at North Fork Salt River north of Lentner and three miles south of Route K.
• Lewis County - Route B flood gates in at north edge of Canton; Route B south of the city limits of La Grange at the Mississippi River; Route E at North Fabius River almost 2.5 miles west of Williamstown.
• Clark County - U.S. 61 at Alexandria at the Iowa state line; Route D at Wyaconda River approximately two miles west of state Highway 81; Route NN at Fox River approximately three miles west of MO 81.
• Knox County - Route K at Middle Fabius River just west of Colony.
• Macon County - Route J three miles west of U.S. 63; Route PP 3.5 miles east of U.S. 63 at Middle Fork Salt River.
MoDOT reminded motorists it is dangerous to drive into water-covered roads.
Motorists were encouraged to check MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at www.modot.org or call (888) ASK MODOT (888-275-6636) before starting a trip to Northeast Missouri.