Mississippi River flooding closes roads

Jill Dunn | May 12, 2011
Mississippi River flooding at Memphis, Tenn., on May 10. (Photo NASA Earth Observatory)

While the overflowing Mississippi River already has shut down sections of roads, major to record regional flooding is still expected for two to three more weeks, federal officials said.

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration said heavy rainfall will fall along the Mississippi River, now near or above flood stage in many locations. Heavy rainfall is forecast through May 13 across the Mississippi River Valley.

Louisiana Highway 15 is closed 8 miles south of Vidalia, near St. Genevieve, because of levee work. A mile-long segment of 15 is shut where it runs on the levee’s crown. The state’s detour route will be U.S. 84 (Ferriday to Stacy), Louisiana 129 (Stacy to Monterey) and Louisiana 565 (Monterey to Deer Park). The closures will continue until the Mississippi River recedes and levee reinforcement work is no longer necessary.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said numerous state routes in Shelby, Lake and Dyer counties will remain closed as a result of floodwaters.

On Interstate 40, exit 2A to Millington and exit 3 to Watkins Road in Tennessee are closed, but I-40 lanes in both directions in Arkansas reopened after shutting down last week because of flooding. Numerous sections of Arkansas highways remain closed because of high water.

In Kentucky, U.S. 60 is closed between mile markers 12 and 20 in Livingston County because of flooding for several days. The state has temporarily closed U.S. 60 and Kentucky 109 in Sturgis.

Trucks entering Kentucky from Illinois via the Ohio River Bridge at Shawneetown can take Kentucky 56 to connect with U.S .60 at Morganfield. This detour covers commercial vehicles up to 102 inches wide that do not exceed 80,000 pounds. Officers will patrol this detour along 56 to see that truckers use approved routes

Mississippi’s transportation department has listed roads that are closed, likely to close and evacuation routes. It closed SR 24 near Fort Adams and SR 465 between U.S. 61 and Eagle Lake. However, drivers are likely to find SR 3 at Yazoo City, U.S. 49 E north of Eden and near Mississippi Chemical open, MDOT reported.

In Illinois, voluntary evacuation orders are still in effect for several southern municipalities.

More extensive road closure information is available for affected states on the websites listed.

Arkansas: http://www.arkansashighways.com/roads/Web-road%20closings.htm

Kentucky: http://511.ky.gov/kylb/roadreports_route_urgent.jsf?route=21%3A64&view=state&text=m#

Illinois: http://www.dot.state.il.us/road/closures.txt

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