ST. LOUIS – Area rivers have been cresting over the week and we’re experiencing minor flooding in many locations.

“It was kind of a wakeup call, right? We haven’t seen flooding here in a long time. And to have that large scale of an event that involved both the Mississippi and the Missouri and the Illinois (rivers),” Mark Fuchs, senior service hydrologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said.

At the St. Louis riverfront, floodwater is covering up some of the Arch steps. The Mississippi River downtown has passed it’s crest, just shy of 30 feet, which begins minor flooding at this location. Water levels are decreasing and are forecast to drop below action stage on Friday afternoon. But it’s been a while since we’ve experienced flooding in the region.

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“Lots of cobwebs have shaken loose on the flood warning side of life,” he said.

These high levels are quite a contrast from the persistently low levels of the recent past.

“It really is a blessing in many respects. The fact that we’re getting this much rain over that large of an area to produce that much minor flooding for the most part,” Fuchs said.

The river should crest just below levels that would require flood gates to be closed in the city.

Meanwhile, farther up the Mississippi in Alton, the river has passed its crest, although minor flooding is ongoing and is expected to continue until early next week.

Along the Missouri River, water levels at Hermann, Washington, and St. Charles are all in minor flood stage, with levels coming down. In St Charles, the Missouri River crested late Tuesday at 27.61 feet.

And despite more rain in the forecast, we aren’t expecting flooding to return to these levels in the near term.

“We know there’s a chance of that if any one storm or series of storms accumulates enough rainfall in one specific basin. But as far as the big rivers are concerned, I don’t necessarily expect renewed flooding like what we just saw,” Fuchs said.