An estimated three and a half thousand people have been left homeless after severs flooding in the areas around the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
AERIAL VIEW Mississippi River at St Louis, Missouri
AERIAL VIEWS Flooding Mississippi at West Alton, Missouri (4 shots)
MVs Through flood waters in West Alton (3 shots)
GVs & MVs tornado damage to commercial centre in Fairfax County, Virginia. (6 shots)
GV & SV Damaged bus & wrecked store (2 shots)
GV Crowds & rescue vehicles in street
GV PAN Wrecked apartment building & MV Wreckage (2 shots)
MVs People salvaging belongings out of wrecked building (2 shots)
Initials ESP/0124 ESP/0200
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Background: An estimated three and a half thousand people have been left homeless after severs flooding in the areas around the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The rivers, which are at their highest since 1937, are still rising and expected to peak on Friday. But homes and towns along hundreds of miles have already been flooded. Just north of St. Louis, all 500 residents of the town of West Alton have been evacuated, and although there's been very little loss of life, the Missouri Governor is to ask President Nixon to declare the state a flood disaster area.
And elsewhere in the U.S., weekend tornadoes left nine dead and several injured.
SYNOPSIS: The Mississippi River, already at its highest level since 1937, continues to rise.
A few miles up river from St. Louis, at West Alton, the river poured over a railway embankment and flooded the entire town. Coastguard and local rescue services evacuated all five hundred residents. Farm lands along Mississippi and Missouri are covered with up to eight feet of water in some places, and communities have called for help in sandbagging work.
But in some places the sandbag brigades have already had to give up saying the situation was hopeless. And the Governor of Missouri is to ask President Nixon to declare the state a flood disaster area. Damage is already estimated at millions of dollars, but there's been very little loss of life.
Elsewhere in the United States...weather problems of a different kind. Tornadoes are almost never seen in this area, but one hit the Virginia suburbs at the weekend and wrecked this 32-storey shopping centre. Because it was a Sunday, most stores were closed and casualties were amazing low. Altogether 32 people were hurt, only one seriously, and no-one was killed.
But damage was heavy and will cost at least three million dollars to repair. The tornado also hit private homes, damaged a high school and lifted the roof off this apartment building. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the U.S., other tornadoes left nine dead.