Alton, Grafton residents prepare for rising Mississippi River

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on April 19, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 20 at 10:01 AM

(KMOV.com) -- Rising floodwaters have Metro-East residents concerned, with the Mississippi River expected to crest at the "Major Flood" stage. Authorities say rising waters could mean worse flooding than in 2008.

In nearby Grafton, the flood stage is at 18 feet. Major flooding is 29 feet, and floodwaters are projected to hit 30.5 feet next week.

At The Loading Dock Bar & Grill, located on the riverfront, Friday was "moving day" as employees tried to get equipment to higher ground. Peter Allen, the restaurant's owner, told News 4 he knows exactly when water will be inside his business.

"...29.2 (feet) puts it on our floor," said Allen. "The prediction now is for 30.5 (feet)...so as we were saying, if they're a foot wrong, we're in good shape, but either way we're going to be an island so we won't be open for business."

When the floodwater rises, parts of Main Street will be covered. Police said the Great River Road between Grafton and Alton will be closed this weekend.

"...so we've got to figure out how to get those people around through the backroads, and get 'em out of Grafton to go to work and to function, so we make sure all of those roads are in good shape, and we've been doing that," said Grafton Mayor Tom Thompson.

The flood waters should crest by the middle of next week, then start receding, leaving a blanket of mud and debris. Officials said cleanup efforts are expected to take about a week.

Click here for the latest river levels and forecast river levels

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