As the Mississippi River continues to rise, all five flood gates are set to be installed Friday morning in Hannibal.
Hannibal City Emergency Management Director John Hark says they are watching the river closely and crews plan to install the gates about 8 a.m.
City Manager Jeff LaGarce says his team does a great job of watching the river levels and it has become protocol for them to install the flood gates when the river is expected to reach a certain level.
Michael O’Cheltree, has owned Native American Trading Company in downtown Hannibal for more than 20 years. He says over years the gates have done a great job of keeping businesses safe and dry, but when tourist hear the world ‘flood” they become afraid to visit Hannibal.
O’Cheltree believes it has hurt businesses over the years.
“Of course we got Mark Twain, which is a big draw to Hannibal, the buildings have been restored by so many down there and put their money into it. “O’Cheltree said.
O’Cheltree says while many locals know it is okay to be downtown, he feels it is important to also let the tourism community know downtown business are safe and ready for customers.
Hark added says the flood gates could be up for several days.