By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 7,2017, 2:15:24PM,EDT
While mainly dry weather is in the forecast for the Mississippi River Valley into the middle of the week, major flooding will persist.High water levels will continue to impact travel along the Mississippi River as navigation and port operations are compromised.
Washington, Missouri, located about 50 miles west of St. Louis along the Missouri River, canceled school for the entirety of last week as many roads were impassable.
There, the river crested at major flood stage on Thursday and is forecast to fall to below flood stage by midweek.
The Red Cross and local charities and resource centers have sprung into action in the St. Louis area, collecting and distributing food, personal hygiene items and clothing to those who have been displaced.
Communities south of St. Louis can expect area rivers to remain in major flood stage for much of the week as water continues to surge downstream.
The Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, will not fall below major flood stage until the second half of the week.
Residents of Osceola, Arkansas, can expect the Mississippi River to crest at major flood stage by the end of the week.
“River levels in some portions of these states will reach moderate flood stage and may not drop below flood stage until nearly the end of the month,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Senior Alex Sosnowski said.
Communities along the White River in Arkansas can also expect flooding to continue or worsen.
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Areas near Augusta and northward can expect river levels to stagnate over the coming days, allowing waters to very slowly recede.
Downstream from Augusta, the worst is yet to come. In Clarendon, Arkansas, the river is anticipated to crest at the end of the week.
In any flooded area, drivers should obey road blocks, barricades and signs, as water damage to roads might not be visible.
With the potential for wet weather to return to the region by the end of the week, it will be important for residents to be adequately prepared.