As the official start of summer is forecasted to be ushered in by rainy weather, all three of the major rivers running through Franklin County are near flood action stages.
After a wet few days, the Missouri River at Washington crested at 17.8 feet early Tuesday morning and began a slow drop to about 15.5 feet by Friday.
Before the mid-week crest, the Missouri River had been holding at 12 feet and sharply rose by nearly 6 feet to the crest over a three-day period.
Action stage for the river is 18 feet and minor flood stage is 20 feet.
Even with the above-normal crest this week, the river is 10.8 feet lower than it was this time last year.
A crest of 28.68 feet was measured May 25, 2019. The river briefly dropped, but crested again June 2 at 28.6 feet.
Due to rising river waters, the Washington School District ended the school year one day early last year.
The top flood crest in 2019 was measured June 8, when the river crested at 29.45 feet in Washington.
The highest flood crest ever in Downtown Washington was 35.4 feet July 31, 1993.
The Bourbeuse River at Union crested Tuesday at 11.27 feet, well below flood stage of 15 feet.
The river fluctuated over last week and then rose from 4 feet Monday, May 18, to the crest level in about 24 hours.
After the crest Tuesday, the river fell 6 feet quickly and was on a downward turn toward the weekend.
The Bourbeuse River flooded once in 2019, reaching 15.13 feet Feb. 9, just one inch over flood stage.
The most recent high-water mark of the river in Union was 29.38 in May 2017 and the highest ever recorded at that location was 34.31 feet Dec. 29 2015.
Meramec at Pacific
The Meramec River at Pacific also rose sharply this week, cresting at 12.46 feet early Wednesday. Action stage for the river in that location is 13 feet and minor flood stage begins at 15 feet.
On Sunday, May 17, the river level measured just over one foot and rose 11 feet to the crest in just four days.
The river in Pacific didn’t reach flood stage at all in 2019.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the most recent historic crest in that location was 33.05 feet May 2, 2017. The highest recorded crest was 33.42 feet Dec. 30, 2015.
Meramec at Sullivan
On the south end of the waterway, the Meramec River at Sullivan briefly went into flood stage Monday night, but has since dropped to 6.6 feet.
Minor flood stage for the river in that location is 11 feet and the crest Monday was 13.27 feet.
The river had been holding at 4 feet early in the week and is now projected to be back to below 2 feet by Wednesday, May 27.
The Meramec River flooded once at the Sullivan gauge, located upstream in Crawford County. A level of 11.37 feet was measured there Feb. 8, 2019.
The highest crest on the river at that location was 36.52 feet May 1, 2017. The second highest crest was 33.5 feet Aug. 1, 1915.
Mississippi at St. Louis
Area residents traveling to the St. Louis area this weekend will see Mississippi River levels dropping throughout the weekend.
The muddy Mississippi briefly entered action stage Monday through Wednesday, cresting at 28.58 feet.
The NWS is predicting the river to drop by a few feet each day and will be at 19 feet by Tuesday, June 2.
On Friday, May 15, the river was running at 20.5 feet and the major rise began Sunday.
On May 24, 2019, the Mississippi River crested at 41.9 feet — nearly 12 feet above minor flood stage of 30 feet.
During historic flooding last spring the river reached its second highest recorded crest of 45.93 June 8, 2019.
The highest water mark in the same area in 1993 was 49.58 feet, which came Aug. 1 during the summer of the Great Flood.