ST. LOUIS -- The Mississippi River is starting to go down in most places, but flood problems persist for a few unprotected communities.
The river was at crest Wednesday in hard-hit Missouri towns like Louisiana and Clarksville. It is still rising toward an expected crest on Friday in Grafton, Ill.
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Clarksville and Grafton are small but popular tourist towns, and are among the few Mississippi River towns without flood protection. Both are now difficult to get to, with floodwaters closing major roads to the towns.
The river swelled over the past two weeks due largely to heavy rains in the upper Midwest. The flood is the third-worst on record in Burlington, Iowa, the fourth-worst in Keokuk, Iowa, and Canton, Missouri, and the fifth-worst in Clarksville and Winfield, Missouri.