River levels crest in some communities as floodwaters drain

looking at flooded I44 westbound near Eureka Mike Jansma

River levels are cresting in several Missouri communities as floodwaters slowly drain from the state, although forecasts for more rain could cause another round of damaging high water.

The National Weather Services is forecasting crests Wednesday morning in the Missouri River at Gasconade and Hermann. Forecasters are predicting that water levels in the Meramec River should begin falling after it crests Wednesday and Thursday in several eastern Missouri cities. Mississippi River crests in the southern part of the state aren’t expected until the weekend.

The flooding has claimed five lives in the state and caused widespread damage. Missouri transportation officials say more tha 270 roads remain closed statewide. Homes, business, campgrounds, wastewater treatment facilities and cropland have been inundated.

Agricultural levees have overtopped and stre