EUREKA, MO – It wasn’t a house boat folks saw on the Meremac River, but a house that used to belong to someone in Eureka, MO. That house was one of hundreds of structures destroyed by flood waters along the rivers of Missouri.
But, as strange as it may sound, Eureka mayor Kevin Coffey says flooding is just the start of his city’s problems.
"Our biggest problem is over the next four days. We're going to be hitting temperatures in the teens at night, and as the water recedes we are going to have power out. We are going to have gas service out and we are going to have a difficult cleanup.”
Missouri is one of 13 states under a flood warning. It stretches from Oklahoma to the Atlantic Ocean, and affects about 17 million Americans.
“We've never seen water this high,” said Missouri governor Jay Nixon. “And when it goes above records, not by an inch, but by two or three feet, you don't know exactly how far that water is going to go.”
The Mississippi River will crest about 15 feet above flood stage, and that’s the second-highest level on record, worse than the great flood of 1993 that caused $15 billion in damage.
So, as the waters rise, residents along the rivers help each other, like those south of St. Louis who are filling 20,000 sandbags they hope will keep the waters out and Mother Nature away from their doors.