More precipitation forecast later in week

Hannibal and Marion County issued emergency declarations in response to flooding occurring on the Mississippi River and along its local tributaries.

Acting on the recommendation of John Hark, the county's emergency management director, the county commissioners on Saturday agreed to declare a Level I Emergency.

According to a letter sent by the county on Saturday to Gov. Mike Parson and the State Emergency Management Agency a Level I Emergency is "an occurrence that can be handled routinely by one or more departments within the local jurisdiction. It has the potential to require resources in excess of those available to the responding agency through mutual aid agreements, etc. to bring the situation under control."

The letter added that it is anticipated that the emergency's classification level will be raised in the near future.

In Hannibal, Mayor James Hark on Sunday afternoon issued a Level II Emergency declaration for flood response.

According to a media release issued by the city a Level II Emergency is defined as "an occurrence that requires a major response and the significant commitment of resources from several government agencies, but still will be within the capabilities of local resources to control."

The mayor's declaration came as the Mississippi River in Hannibal was expected to crest at almost 26 feet Sunday night. It is also expected that the river will remain above 23 feet through at least April 13.

Mayor Hark said the potential of more precipitation locally over the next three to four days could push the river level higher, as could the continued ice and snow melt in states to the north.

The county's letter cited several inches of rainfall that fell over a 48-hour period for impacting not only flooding along the Mississippi River, but along tributaries such as the North River, South Fabius River and North Fabius River. That flooding has prompted "many road closures" within the county.

In Hannibal, many streets in the floodplain are now under water. However, the downtown area remains dry because of the floodwall, which John Hark noted "is performing as it was designed."

The Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department announced Monday morning that the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center, located outside the floodwall, will be closed this week due to water in the facility.



danny.henley@courierpost.com