UPDATE: The Mississippi River In Midst Of Record Flood, Disaster Imminent
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 23:42:27 UTC by Jeremy Smith
Update 12/31/2015 3:40PM CST: Kansas City pastor's family trapped by flood waters
With the Mississippi River and many of its tributaries showing no sign of subsiding, families are continuing to head to higher ground. The Mississippi River is now forecasted to peak ABOVE the 1993 record, according to NOAA. Danger and destruction is imminent.
Missouri Flood 2015 Aerial - 12/29 - Cape Girardeau County, Missouri Area
The Mississippi River is flooding big time right now, at the wrong time of year, and is forecasted to match or break 22-year-old crest records over the next few days. Meteorologists are calling it "insane."
Over the next three to four days, the Mississippi is predicted to reach a crest height of 49.7 feet at Chester, Illinois, one of several locations where the National Weather Service records data about the river. As of Tuesday afternoon, the river has already risen to 40.8 feet.
The "great flood of 1993," as it has come to be known, was "one of the most significant and damaging natural disasters ever to hit the United States," according to a National Weather Service hydrologist, writing in 1996. "Damages totaled $15 billion, 50 people died, hundreds of levees failed, and thousands of people were evacuated, some for months."
While the worst is still yet to come, the flooding in places has already become severe. According to The Washington Post, the flood water in parts of eastern Oklahoma has already risen above the height of houses. Images are rolling in on Twitter of cars inundated by the growing flood.
The Coast Guard closed part of the Upper Mississippi River to ship traffic, and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon activated the state's National Guard on Tuesday, to "provide security in evacuated areas and direct traffic from road closures," according to local station KFVS12.
The Mississippi isn't the only river flooding. A series of major storms over the weekend have sent torrents of rain down over the central United States, pushing 400 rivers to flood across the region, the Post reports.