Flooding shuts down casino, dampens fair plans - KMOV.com

Flooding shuts down casino, dampens fair plans

Gamblers hoping to throw the dice for the last time at the President Casino ran into some bad luck Thursday after Pinnacle Entertainment announced that the Mississippi River has forced the only casino boat in St. Louis to remain closed through the previously scheduled June 29 closing date.

A casino employee farewell gathering was scheduled for Friday at the boat, but plans have changed thanks to an abundance of precipitation. The rain fell from Nebraska through Iowa and into the Ohio Valley, leaving some areas with 9-12 inches of rain, said Benjamin Sipprell of the National Weather Service office in St. Louis.

Sipprell said the river is forecasted to crest this weekend at 35 feet, but he stressed that a cold front could bring more rain to the area this weekend, which could send the waters back up.

As hydrologists monitor the Mississippi and its tributaries, St. Louis Streets Director Todd Waelterman and his crew have been monitoring the 8 floodgates that have now closed Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard from Choteau to Carr.

Still unknown is the effect the rising river will have on Fair Saint Louis and Live on the Levee, both of which usually use the flooded Lenore K. Sullivan.

A planning meeting between city officials and fair organizers Friday left no new developments on the Fourth of July celebration except that the show will go on, river permitting.

Celebrate St. Louis organizer Meg Shuff said the situation could have been worse if organizers hadn’t already decided to move the stage from the flooded roadway to underneath the Arch. That decision, Shuff said, was made well before the river began to rise to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fair.

John Legend and the B 52’s will headline the holiday weekend celebration that will kick off the rest of the Live on the Levee events scheduled for the remaining weekends in July.

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