HANNIBAL - Officials say the Mississippi River shouldn't affect daily life in this riverside town.
John Hark, Director of Emergency Management, says the city's flood walls were closed Wednesday morning after the river rose past 16 feet, which is flood stage at this spot. Hark says the walls will hold back floods without the need for sandbags as long as the water doesn't go over 25 feet. He says as far as he knew, no businesses have had to close.
"That's the whole object of this flood wall and levee. It allow them to be open for business and everything is business as usual in downtown Hannibal," he said.
Hannibal resident Antione Rosebud said nobody he knows has had to evacuate, but the closing of the flood gates has forced him to change some of his routes. He said he isn't worried about the rising floodwaters.
"I've heard predictions that it's gonna be worse than '93, but I don't believe that," he said. The 1993 flood was the deadliest in the river's history.
Hark does admit that conditions can change on the river. He says the levee can easily hold back the expected flood waters, but the river might rise even higher if there are unforseen storms upriver.
"The Mississippi River changes at its own pace," Hark said.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the entire length of the state along the Mississippi River.