ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) – The fight against flooding is starting to ease. The Mississippi River has crested at the ST. Louis Riverfront and should soon be receding in the Alton area, though getting around may be easier by boat for a while longer.
In downtown Alton, it's a sure sign of spring, a swollen Mississippi river.
'Some of these other businesses are really struggling right now,' says business owner Lou Mattea. 'The ones closest to the river, one gentleman has four pumps going into his basement just to keep the water the level it is. It`s not reducing it but it`s keeping it at the level it is. That`s how quickly it`s coming in.'
Detour signs encourage metro east motorists to take route 109.
That'll lead you up near Nutwood, Illinois where water over the great river road, has route 100 closed at Stump Lake fish and wildlife management area.
The Illinois department of Natural Resources, the Army Corp of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service all manage this lake where fish are likely floating where fields normally have crops.
'Well the guy who used to take care of the village would say it`s only a flood,' laughs Norman Brokaw a resident in Elsah.
For Norman Brokaw and residents n the Riverbend, the great river rising is just a regular right of spring.
'I like living here a lot, so this makes up for it,' says Brokaw. 'Flood insurance is expensive every year. That costs you.'
Meanwhile in Alton, Lucianna`s Pastries is housed in a building that dates back to the 1850`s.
Abraham Lincoln allegedly slept here.
But a rising river in Alton isn`t keeping every business owner awake.
'Our business might be doing better than it has in that people are interested,' says Mattea.
'They`re coming down to see the water. They`ve not been here for flooding so we probably have better business than the past.'
Luciannas says their uptick in business helps while the high waters go down.