Roads start to reopen as Mississippi falls below moderate flood stage

News-DemocratJune 10, 2013 

The Illinois Department of Transportation had the Great River Road back in service by the Monday afternoon rush hour.

Spokesman Joseph Monroe said inspections and debris removal are being completed on the road and repairs are being made to a few minor washouts. The road was reopened to traffic from Alton to Grafton by 5 p.m.

"We're working as quickly as we can," Monroe said. "We want to get things opened up as soon as we can. But we have to be sure it's safe first."

Monroe said Illinois 155 near Prairie du Rocher has been reopened to traffic as well. But a few trouble spots remain:

* Route 3 near Chester remains closed while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers waits to make sure that the river isn't going to come back up before removing a flood gate from the levy there.

* Illinois 100 in Grafton remains under water and is still closed.

The Mississippi River continues to recede with its level dropping below the threshold of moderate flood stage at St. Louis.

The river, as of Monday morning, was at 34.1 feet. Moderate flood stage is 35 feet. It is expected to fall to 33 feet by Tuesday morning.

The Mississippi reached a high of 40.52 feet a week ago. It was the sixth-highest crest since 1785.

Without major rain this week, the river is expected fall below the 30 foot mark, which represents minor flood stage, by midday Saturday.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at swuerz@bnd.com or call 239-2626.

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