Rising water on the Mississippi River has forced the closing of two more bridges that connect Missouri and Illinois.

Rising water on the Mississippi River has forced the closing of two more bridges that connect Missouri and Illinois.

Around 10 a.m. Monday, Illinois and Missouri transportation department personnel closed the eastbound lanes of U.S. 24 to the Quincy Memorial Bridge at West Quincy. Illinois Department of Transportation spokeswoman Paris Ervin said all traffic is being routed to the Bayview Bridge, which sits higher than the Memorial and is not threatened by the flooding.

On Sunday, flooding prompted the highway departments of Missouri and Illinois to close U.S. 54 at the Champ Clark Bridge in Louisiana. The river is expected to crest nearly 10 feet above flood stage in Louisiana today (Tuesday), but it could be the weekend before water is off the road on the Illinois side of the crossing.

Also Sunday, MoDOT announced that several area roads had been closed, due to the flooding Mississippi River.

MoDOT closed state Highway 79 south of Hannibal, from south of Sawyers Creek and Mark Twain Cave to just south of Continental Cement’s main entrance on Sunday. A detour of routes T and N will be marked for motorists.

Access to tourist attractions such as Lovers Leap, Mark Twain Cave and Campground, and Sawyer's Creek remain open to the public.

Route E, from Missouri 79 to Lock and Dam 22 in Saverton, was also closed.

Highway 79 south of Clarksville near Eagles Bluff Golf Course was closed.

Elswhere in Pike County, a number of low-lying roads in and round Louisiana and Clarksville and along Highway 79 were closed.


Refer to MoDOT's traveler information map online at www.modot.org for updated information.

While the river was starting to drop in Iowa towns including Burlington and Keokuk, it was still rising Monday in Missouri and Illinois. Crests - in some cases 10 feet above flood stage - were expected this week.

According to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, major flooding is occurring along the Mississippi River in Quincy, Hannibal and Saverton, with major flooding being experienced at Louisiana and Canton.

As of noon Monday, the river in Hannibal was forecast to crest at 26.7 feet at 7 a.m. today (Tuesday). Following today’s crest the river is predicted to begin a steady decline that will continue into the upcoming weekend.

If 26.7 feet is reached, it would be the sixth highest crest in recorded history. The No. 5 flood crest currently is 26.91 feet on May 16, 2001. The record crest is 31.80 feet that occurred on July 15, 1993.

The 26.7 crest in Hannibal is by no means written in stone. National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Fuchs said 2 inches of rain or more were possible Monday night and Tuesday morning.

"It's definitely getting into the realm of major flooding, no question about it," Fuchs said.

In Clarksville, where out-of-town volunteers and inmates from the nearby prison joined local residents in building a sandbag wall, Mike O'Connell, a spokesman with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, reported that as of Monday morning the wall was 95 percent complete.


(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)