Although the Mississippi River at Hannibal rose more than three feet from Friday to Saturday, Oct. 31, with a reading of 19.13 feet Saturday morning, the flood gates were not scheduled to be installed by Saturday evening.


Although the Mississippi River at Hannibal rose more than three feet from Friday to Saturday, Oct. 31, with a reading of 19.13 feet Saturday morning, the flood gates were not scheduled to be installed by Saturday evening.
“I’m not putting the gates in - I’m just going to watch it, and we are going to be extremely careful,” said John Hark, director of emergency management in Hannibal and Marion County. Hannibal’s flood stage is 16 feet.
“We have been watching it for the last 48 hours,” Hark said. “With the amount of rain we have had, the local tributaries north of us all being at flood stage or better has caused a rapid rise. It is to be expected.”
Reporting that if the river reaches 10 feet, the flood gates on Center and Bird streets are to be installed, Hark added, “I will admit that had it gone to the 19.9 of the first projection I got it would have been a hairline call. We were within a 10th of a foot of it. It was a call I’m glad I didn‘t have to make.”
Hannibal’s Water Treatment Plant reported the river rose 3.32 feet from Friday to Saturday.
The National Weather Service on Saturday predicted the river would crest at 19.5 on Saturday, then begin a gradual decent down to the 16 foot flood stage by Thursday, Nov. 5.
According to the Weather Service Web site, weather.gov, the river at Hannibal rose rapidly from 14 feet Thursday, Oct. 29, to more than 19 feet Saturday.
By Friday, Hannibal had a record 11.46 inches of rain in October, setting a new monthly record.
“If we can get three days of no heavy rains north of us,” Hark said, “I think she’ll drain on out and be a very nice river and flow right along.”
He had been checking with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and other local authorities and had not learned of any major problems from high water in smaller rivers by Saturday evening, although, he said, “we may have some crop ground that is flooded.”