Flooding has forced Missouri transportation officials to close Interstate 55, along with other major routes Wednesday, effectively cutting off St. Louis from any roads to the south. Storms and heavy rains that began over the weekend led to flooding that has forced the closure of hundreds of roads in Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois. At least 20 people have died from the weekend storms and subsequent flooding. According to Missouri transportation officials, I-55 closed at 12 a.m. Wednesday after rising water levels on the Meramec River inundated numerous roads.

MoDot says the roads will remain closed for the remainder of the week, reports WPSD. A 57-mile stretch of I-44 from central to southern Missouri is also closed, along with a 23-mile stretch in suburban St. Louis, according to the AP. So far, five people have died in Missouri flooding, and several towns have sustained damage. Along the Meramec River, in suburban St. Louis, thousands of sandbags are protecting homes and businesses in Eureka, and authorities fear a breach on a levee in nearby Valley Park, reports the Associated Press. READ MORE