GRAFTON, Ill. (AP) -- The mayor of the touristy Mississippi River town of Grafton in southwestern Illinois says the river’s rise already has forced a downtown barbecue restaurant to evacuate.
But Tom Thompson isn’t expecting many more businesses in the 670-resident town 40 miles north of St. Louis to follow suit unless the forecast changes dramatically.
The National Weather Service says the Mississippi at Grafton is more than 6 feet above flood stage as of Tuesday morning. The forecast calls for the river to rise another 3 feet before cresting early Saturday.
Grafton has chosen not to build any defenses against the river. City leaders believe a levee or other barrier would obstruct the view of the waterway.
Thompson says Grafton residents “have learned to accept our fate and our location.”