another staggering round of weather tonight. Everyone watching this, rumbling wind in the gulf. Now officially tropical storm andrea, the first of the season. Abc's weather editor sam champion is... See More
another staggering round of weather tonight. Everyone watching this, rumbling wind in the gulf. Now officially tropical storm andrea, the first of the season. Abc's weather editor sam champion is standing by to show us its path while back on land, these pictures say it all about the midwest plains along the mississippi. A watery mess. And abc's steve osunsami is in the flood zone tonight in illinois. Steve? Reporter: Good evening, diane. This is what the mississippi river has done to the small town of grafton, illinois. The drop-off here is at least a couple feet, so we have to be careful. The mississippi has flooded businesses and threatened homes, and up and down the river, families are praying tonight that the levees hold. North and south of st. Louis today, at least two levees that were struggling to hold back the mighty mississippi were breached. The water came pouring over. Authorities went racing to shore them up. The sandbags could only do so much. From the sky, it was clear where the river was winning. At one point, flood waters forcing this bridge to close. It's amazing. You can't stop the river. Reporter: Marty harp and laurie wild showed us the art mall they run, soaking in three feet of water. Their business floods when the river is at 28.7 feet. Today, it was 30.4. We've got each other. And you know, life goes on. This is part of living on the river. Reporter: Residents say the water came up fast, up through the storm drains. Over here is river road, a popular road through town, completely under water. Tonight the mississippi, illinois, and parts of the iowa rivers are in flood states in the midwest. The water has started to recede and tonight the mississippi is cresting south of st. Louis. It could be more than a week before families sleep easy. So many residents we talked about today told us that even though their homes may not be flooded tonight, whenever the river sirises, they get nervous. Thank you so much steve. Now I want to bring in the head of abc's weather team, weather editor, sam champion. What can we project about the path of this new storm? Tropical storm andrea. Very early in the season. So it's early on. Let me show you what this looks like. Look at the satellite. The bright red and orange are the highest cloud tops. Our recon plane has been looking for circulation. They found some just on the western edge of the cloud mass that you see right there. With that, they begin to see, this is a tropical storm, not expected to strengthen a lot, but now it has direction and movement. This is the official path from the hurricane center. In the big bend area of florida thursday night, that's the curve on the gulf coast of florida. Then stays inland for a while. This is going to probably run the east coast and not just be a rain maker for the southeast, but a rain maker for the northeast as well. If it's not going to strengthen that much, what is the biggest worry? Flooding rains. Eight inches of rain on the top. Down south, four to six for tampa. I would shift it a little bit moorth. We have tropical storm watches on the east coast from flagler beach to surf city, north carolina. Then inland, it combines with another low and becomes a real rain maker friday and saturday for the northeast. Soaking rain in those areas. It doesn't have to be a powerful tropical storm to be a real problem. Again. Thank you, sam. Now we turn next to a report
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