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As rivers retreat, roads, ferries back in business

Published: Friday, July 18, 2014 8:03 a.m. CDT

GRAFTON — Ferry and vehicle traffic around western Illinois and eastern Missouri is returning to normal now that the rain-swollen Mississippi and Illinois rivers are receding.

The Brussels Ferry that shuttles across the Illinois River between Illinois' Jersey and Calhoun counties has reopened.

In Missouri, that state's transportation department says Missouri 79 in Louisiana, located northwest of St. Louis, was reopened to traffic Thursday morning, though that highway remains closed just south of Clarksville.

The Mississippi River north of St. Louis rose sharply in late June and early July due to heavy rains in the upper Midwest. The flood was among the 10 highest ever in parts of Iowa, Illinois and northern Missouri.

Damage to homes and businesses has been minimal, but thousands of acres of farmland have been damaged or destroyed.

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