NEW: Mississippi River at major flood level near St. Louis
18 dead, according to authorities in Oklahoma
Five people are still missing, officials said
Three people drowned in Missouri, and four people were killed by flooding in Arkansas
Hundreds of people were being evacuated from their homes in Missouri after a levee was breached Monday night.
Officials in St. Charles County near St. Louis activated warning sirens after the levee broke, a statement from the county said.
Earlier Monday, a bridge connecting West Alton, Missouri, and Alton, Illinois, was shutdown after a temporary flood barricade gave way.
Forecasters say there could be major flooding Tuesday. The Mississippi River at St. Louis was 10.1 feet above flood stage Monday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey website.
Flood warnings and advisories were in effect from counties in northern Illinois down to Louisiana.
As authorities dealt with rising water in Missouri and Illinois, officials in Oklahoma wrapped up another day of looking for people who remained missing after last week’s tornadoes and heavy rain.
The fate of the five missing people remains uncertain, officials said.
Searchers found the body of an 8-year-old girl Monday afternoon, Oklahoma City Deputy Fire Chief Marc Woodard said. She drowned in the Deep Fork River.
At least 18 people died in the storm, authorities said Monday. Among them were four people who died Saturday in separate drowning incidents, according to officials.
Also killed were seven members of an extended family from Guatemala – including four children – who died when they were swept away by rains after hiding from the approaching weather in a storm drain. One woman remains missing.