The Mississippi River is pictured flooding parts of downtown St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 31, 2015. 
Photo by Kate Munsch/Reuters

Mississippi flood surge rushes south as St Louis cleans up

The swollen Mississippi River was pushing downstream at 10 times the speed of the Niagara Falls Saturday, threatening more floods in rural southern Missouri and Illinois.

Two more levees along its course succumbed Friday, bringing to at least 11 the number of levee failures. In Arnold, Missouri, an estimated 150 homes were underwater.

The worst of the dangerous, deadly winter flood is over in the St. Louis area, leaving residents of several water-logged communities to assess damage, clean up and figure out how to bounce back — or in some cases, where to live.

The flood, fueled by more than 10 inches of rain over a three-day period that began last weekend, is blamed for 22 deaths. Searchers were still looking for five missing people — two teenagers in Illinois, two men in Missouri and a country music singer in Oklahoma.

“Our biggest concern is looking out for those who haven’t evacuated,” U.S. Coast Guard officer Nicholas Litchfield told NBC News.

The surge in water from the flooding was expected to hit cities further south, such as Memphis, Tennessee, during next week.

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Mississippi flood surge rushes south as St Louis cleans up