Video: Missouri Assesses Flood Damage, South Still Imperiled

Sun, 03 Jan 2016 04:59:50 UTC by Jeremy Smith

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Saturday toured communities in his state ravaged by flooding that killed at least 31 people in several states and forced the evacuations of thousands in the Mississippi and Ohio river regions, as the danger of rising waters shifted to Arkansas and beyond.

Nixon visited Eureka and Cape Girardeau in eastern Missouri, where floodwaters caused widespread damage, and announced the federal government had approved his request to declare an emergency to help with the massive cleanup and recovery now under way.

The governor described the scale of the flood damage as other worldly.

"It's almost as if you're living on some other planet," he said, standing near a growing pile of debris in a park in Eureka, about an hour's drive west of St. Louis on the banks of the Meramec River, which flows into the Mississippi.

"This is just a tiny fraction of the trail of destruction," the governor told reporters.

Arial Footage of Cape Giarardeau, Missouri and the surrounding area (Courtesy of @Elfman12):

The National Weather Service reported Mississippi floodwaters in Illinois and Missouri began cresting and receding on Saturday after thousands of people had to be evacuated from their homes earlier in the week when the floods destroyed hundreds of structures.

In Thebes, Illinois, about 125 miles (201 km) downriver from St. Louis, the floodwater was expected to crest at 47.5 feet (14 m) on Sunday, more than 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) above the 1995 record, the NWS said.

Major flooding continued in the state of Arkansas along the Arkansas River and its tributaries.