-- A man and his dog were treated for hypothermia today after clinging overnight to the roof of a Missouri home inundated by historic flooding that continues to ravage the state, leaving businesses and homes submerged along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
Firefighters saved the man and dog from a house in Eureka, Missouri, just southwest of St. Louis, that was almost completely submerged in water from the Meramec River, Scott Barthelmass of the Eureka Fire Department said.
There were three ongoing rescues in the area, Barthelmass said.
Residents along the river tend to stay in their homes until the last minute, Barthelmass told ABC News. The fire department has saved dozens of people and several animals from the second stories of buildings, he said.
A building was seen floating down the river after it broke free from its structure, Barthelmass added.
The Meramec River has crested just west of Eureka in Pacific, Mo. The water levels have risen about 3 feet over the record set in the 1993 flood, Gov. Jay Nixon said. Some downstream crests are moving upstream and will continue to rise into Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, a 14th death has been confirmed in Missouri.
The latest confirmed victim died in Crawford County after a vehicle was swept away from flooded roadways, the Missouri Department of Public Safety said.
Almost all the flood-related deaths were in vehicles on flooded roadways, Nixon said, urging motorists to stay away from roads with even low levels of water because of fast-moving currents from floodwaters.
Water levels in several cities along the Mississippi River in Missouri and Illinois will reach or surpass the flood of 1993, which will be the highest ever recorded in that area, ABC meteorologist Max Golembo said. The river is expected to crest in St. Louis Thursday, he said.
Water levels at the Mississippi and Thebes rivers are seeing about 2 feet above the 1993 record, Nixon said.
Valley Park is the latest city in Missouri to undergo a mandatory evacuation, where I-44 remains closed. Mayor Mike Pennise today ordered the residents in the levee-protected area in the lower end of the city to be out by noon. The evacuation will not be lifted until the water level recedes to 40 feet, according to the city’s website.
About 520 people were evacuated after water from the Mississippi River topped a levee in West Alton, about 20 miles north of St. Louis.
Sandbagging efforts failed at a public drinking water treatment center in High Ridge, Mo., where a wall fell in and left about 20,000 people are now without drinking water.
Untreated sewage is seeping into the Meramec River after its waters overwhelmed a treatment plant in Fenton, Missouri. Utility officials said the plant is designed for 6.75 million gallons per day of flow, but was treating nearly 24 million gallons per day at the time of the malfunction.
Highways and road closures include I-44 near the central Missouri town of Rolla and a section of I-70 in southern Illinois. Hundreds of smaller highways and roads were closed across the two states, where flood warnings are in effect.
Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency Sunday and activated the Missouri National Guard Tuesday to protect communities and support emergency response personnel.
The central United States isn’t expected to receive heavy rain for the next week.