We travelled to Saint Louis to see the Mississippi up close and personal. With the recent rains from Tropical Storm Bill, it was easy to get close or watch as it rose toward us, over-flowing some side area and access roads. Campgrounds close to the river were closed and some highways and streets were closed due to the invading waters. Flood gates were closed all over the city.
On one side of low land the corn was under water and the other side of the road it was not.
We again had to wait for snippets of non-rain time to explore the area.
First on our list was to visit the Melvin Price Locks & Dam and the Great River Museum in Alton, Illinois. We signed up for a tour and were fascinated with the fine structure that the Corps of Engineers built just over 20 years ago. This facility is so efficient and large that it takes about 15 minutes for a barge to pass through the Locks upstream or downstream. We were told by our guide that smaller and less efficient Locks take hours for a barge to pass through.
The large mass of logs, debris and trash inside the end Lock will be released through the Lock heading downstream once the flood waters recedes. It will not be cleaned up here but flow downstream once the buoys and other government property are pulled from the mess. The logs add to the ecological environment downstream and the trash will be picked out of the river by volunteers.
We viewed the exhibits and learned so much about the three rivers that meet here; the Missouri, the Illinois and the Mississippi.
We traveled onward to the Confluence Tower and viewed the area where they blend their waters. I asked about the smaller Wood River and was told that normally it is a trickle and hard to see but under the flooding waters, it is lost in the larger rivers.
We were told that this is the only place in the world where three large rivers join in this way.