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Midwest Rivers Rise Beyond Flood Stage

Conjuring memories of the ‘93 floods, sandbags and volunteers were out in force Friday as the Missouri River roared toward crests up to 16 feet above flood stage and the Mississippi crept up the steps to St. Louis’ Gateway Arch.

“We’re still here,” Hartsburg Mayor Mike Rodemeyer proclaimed after his community built a levee of crushed rock and sandbags in a dozen-hour span ending at daybreak Friday. “We’re still dry.”

To the east, workers put up another section of St. Louis’ floodwall as the Mississippi continued its slow rise under bright sunshine.

This week’s storms have forced rivers and creeks across the Midwest beyond their banks. Two deaths have been blamed on the high water.

Across the Mississippi, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials set up a command post in Collinsville, Ill., to assess damage in two of the worst hit counties: Madison and St. Clair, where 1,200 people were evacuated.