By Maris Koe ( | First Posted: Dec 31, 2015 07:37 AM EST

DES PLAINES, IL - APRIL 19: Octavio Castillo paddles a boat down a flooded street to reach the home of his cousin on April 19, 2013 in Des Plaines, Illinois. The suburban Chicago town is battling floodwater from the Des Plaines River which is expected to crest at a record 11 feet later today. Record-setting rains and rising rivers have caused wide-spread flooding in many Illinois communities. (Photo : Scott Olson/Getty Images))

Around 17 million people in Missouri and Illinois are threatened by flood, the Daily Mail previously reported. The situation has forced residents to evacuate their homes over fears of Mississippi River rising.

The river rose on Tuesday, resulting to inmates of Illinois State Prison being transferred.

The holiday disaster also caused sewage to flow unfiltered into waterways. The height of the flood has reportedly been creeping toward milestone.

The Mississippi River in St. Louis is expected to rise 13 feet above flood stage on Thursday evening, while a rise of 20 feet above flood stage is expected on New Year's Day in Chester, Illinois.

Meanwhile, the Meramec River is expected to crest Thursday or early Friday. The mayor of St. Louis suburb of Valley Park ordered mandatory evacuations on Wednesday.

No less than 20 deaths were recorded few days in Missouri and Illinois due to flooding and swamped roadways. In Alton, Illinois, volunteers helped place sandbags ahead of where water is expected to rise.

In southwestern Missouri, about 150 homes in Branson had to be evacuated Wednesday when flooding from a lake Taneycomo threated to overflow.

In Kincaid, leaders said flood water has damaged 30-40 homes. Water in the area was more than 8 feet deep. The National Weather Service reported that it was more than six inches as of Wednesday morning.

In Union, Missouri, Bourbeuse River flooded roofs of a McDonald's and other businesses. The river reached nearly 20 feet above flood stage last Tuesday.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and alerted the National Guard to assist with security in evacuated areas to help keep road sites clear.

As per CNN, Nixon said "We've never seen water this high, the Meramec River is going to be 4 feet over its historic level. At its peak, the Mississippi should be at its highest level ever, beating the highest level of the great flood of 1993. That's why we've got a state of emergency," he said. But it is expected to drain off rapidly, so he is hopeful the cleanup phase will begin soon."

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has issued a disaster proclamation for seven counties. He announced the disaster proclamation Tuesday afternoon for Calhoun, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair counties. 

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