EUREKA, Mo., Jan. 2 (UPI) — St. Louis, Mo., can finally clean up after historic floods as the swollen Mississippi river surges downstream, carrying with it the risk of more flooding in rural Missouri and Illinois.
NBC News reported a total of 11 levees failed after ten inches of rain pounded the state over a three-day period. Roughly 150 homes were underwater in Arnold, Mo., on Friday.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced from Eureka, Mo., on Saturday that he had signed an emergency declaration, requesting federal aid in removing debris.
“When you see a historic flood, we are committed to a historic response,” he said.
The flooding caused at least 25 deaths, 15 in Missouri alone. St. Louis was struck with the worst of the flooding.
The body of 18-year-old Devan Everett was found Friday. He had gone missing Monday along with another teen. Police are still searching for two men in Missouri and a country singer in Oklahoma.
The river surge is expected to hit areas further downstream with flooding, such as Memphis, Tenn.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that there are several factors behind the unusual and catastrophic winter weather that closed out 2015. Among them is the climate pattern El Niño — in the Pacific Ocean in recent months — which is one of the strongest on record. El Niño has been known to have dramatic effects on global weather patterns.