ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Nearly 12.1 million people nationwide are living in areas where there are flood warnings, the National Weather Service said in a 3 p.m. Wednesday statement. The figure dropped from 17 million as flood warnings were canceled in parts of Missouri and Illinois.
A 24-mile stretch of I-44 is closed from Interstate 270 in St. Louis County to the Highway 100 exit in Gray Summit in Franklin County, authorities said. Many people are in hotels and all are encouraged to stay off the roads.
Throughout the country’s midsection about 400 river gauges are over flood stage, with around 45 showing major flooding, the National Weather Service said.
Many of those are in or around St. Louis. Some rivers and streams have already crested, and some haven’t yet, like the Mississippi. It is expected to reach its peak late Wednesday or early Thursday in Missouri along with other area streams.
Missouri will still have “major to historic river flooding through early next week,” the National Weather Service’s St. Louis office said. “Record crests expected on area rivers the next several days.”
— NWS St. Louis (@NWSStLouis) December 30, 2015