St. Louis County residents to evacuate amid flooding

BALLWIN, MO (KTVI)- There are 272 roads closed in Missouri due to flooding as of Tuesday morning. St. Louis County officials held a news conference about the flood status and ongoing preparations. They're urging residents in Valley Park and Eureka to adhere to mandatory evacuation orders.

Valley Park Mayor Mike Pennise issued a mandatory evacuation for people in the city living in the levee protected area. Residents must be out by noon Tuesday.

Forecasters are predicting more rain in some flooded parts of Missouri.

The National Weather Service says up to 3 inches could fall from late Tuesday through Thursday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the heaviest downpours expected in areas south of Interstate 70.

Hydrologist Mark Fuchs, of the weather service, says the rain could cause a secondary crest. He says the rain isn't expected to ``make it any worse for the most part'' but that it might ``prolong the agony in some areas.''

He described the flooding as ``historic,'' saying forecasts also are calling for record or near-record crests along several rivers, including the Meramec and the Big. The flooding already has claimed three lives and forced hundreds to evacuate.

Flooding has also closed another section of Interstate 44 in Missouri, and it's expected to be a commuter nightmare.

Interstate 44 closed from Interstate 270 in St. Louis County to Route 100, a 23-mile stretch. Missouri Department of Transportation officials warn that commutes that normally take minutes may now take hours as drivers seek alternative routes. It doesn't help that Route 141 also is closed in Valley Park, due to flooding along the Meramec River.

I-44 is also closed over a 57-mile stretch from Lebanon to Rolla. All told, more than 300 roads are closed in spots around Missouri.

Heavy rain over the weekend led to a surge in several rivers in Missouri. The Meramec is expected to approach all-time record levels, prompting sandbagging and evacuations in some towns.

Significant flooding is also taking place along the Missouri ad Mississippi rivers.