Interstates shut by flooding in Missouri and Illinois
Volunteers form a human chain as they help load sandbags Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in St. Louis. Flooding across Missouri has forced the closure of hundreds of roads and threatened homes. (AP Photo)
ST. LOUIS (AP) -
A rare winter flood has shut down parts of two interstate highways in Missouri and Illinois.
Torrential rains in recent days had pushed already swollen rivers and streams to levels that had been virtually unheard-of in parts of the two states. And record flooding is projected in some towns along the Mississippi River.
Interstate 44 was closed near the central Missouri town of Rolla, and a 10-mile section of Interstate 70 was shut down in southern Illinois before it was reopened late Tuesday afternoon. Hundreds of smaller roads and highways were also closed across the two states, and flood warnings were in effect.
At least 18 deaths in Missouri and Illinois are blamed on flooding, mostly involving vehicles that drove onto swamped roadways.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has called in the National Guard to assist with flood-fighting efforts.
Several businesses are flooded in the eastern Missouri town of Union after a small river raged out of control. Water is near the roofs of a McDonald's, QuikTrip and several other businesses that sit near the river.
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