(Hannibal)--The weather pendulum that brought drought last year and low river levels has now swung to the flooding side. Heavy rains have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for our area and caused Hannibal-Marion County Emergency Management Director John Hark to call for the flood gates to be installed along Hannibal's riverfront.

The Mississippi at Hannibal is predicted to rise nearly 12  feet over flood stage by Sunday , according to the National Weather Service.. Heavy rains in Iowa and western Illinois are swelling the Mississippi and its tributaries out of their banks, while storms dumping rain in our local area are only adding insult to injury.

Hark says the North and South Fabius and the North and South River will all rise above flood stage, which will add to the rapid rise of the Mississippi.

The City of Hannibal has to have all flood gates in at the 22 feet mark, and since that level will certainly be eclipsed, Hark says the city will begin installing all gates at 1:00 Thursday afternoon. He says all traffic and people will be restricted from the riverfront area beginning at midnight Wednesday night.

Hannibal's technical flood stage is 16 feet. The predicted crest is 27.9 feet on Sunday. The record flood level in Hannibal was just under 32 feet in 1993.