Flooding caused by severe weather conditions continues to endanger the lives of residents in Missouri and Illinois.
According to ABCNews.com the flooding from continuous rains has reached record levels. Hundreds of evacuations are under way, particularly in the suburbs of St. Louis. Traffic on roads that are not flooded has become extremely congested due to many main roads being closed.
A 24-mile stretch of Interstate 44 is closed as well as a 3-mile stretch of Interstate 55.
“There's still water out there — there's water everywhere," Missouri Department of Transportation spokeswoman Marie Elliott said. "We were out there all night sandbagging trying to hold it back as much as we could, but it was just so much."
The flooding has caused the deaths of at least 20 people. Most of these people were killed in their vehicles when they tried to drive on flooded roadways. In addition, two people are reported missing in Illinois.
In Eureka, southwest of St. Louis, firefighters are using boats to rescue people from their homes and businesses.
"I think you're seeing people who are desperate or impatient, putting themselves in predicaments," said Scott Barthelmass, a Eureka Fire Protection District spokesman.
Although the aftermath of the rains continues to impact Missouri and Illinois, no rain is forecasted for the first week of the new year, and the Missouri, Meramec, and Mississippi rivers are reported to be cresting.
Publication date: December 31, 2015