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Saturday, June 14, 2008

RAAM may be in for a wet surprise

Will Race Across America riders be in for a soggy surprise when they approach the Mississippi River this weekend?

UPDATE: Longtime ultramarathon supporter Mike Hahn, who is overseeing the volunteers at the Mississippi River time station, tells me that RAAM officials have found a detour around the flooded part of Highway 94, so the race will go on!

The above video from The (Alton, Ill.) Telegraph shows that floodwaters from the Mississippi are starting to lap over Highway 94 near West Alton, Mo. The footage of Highway 94 is in the second half of this short video. The first half was shot at the Lincoln-Shields Recreation Area just across the Clark Bridge from Alton.

RAAM riders are slated to ride on Highway H and and Highway 94 between St. Charles and West Alton before turning on U.S. 67 to the river. The Mississippi definitely is on the rise in the area -- it's not expected to crest until June 23.

Here's a description of the situation near West Alton from The Telegraph's story:
Part of the access to the Lincoln-Shields Recreation Area in West Alton ... was closed Thursday morning by rising water on the Mississippi River. Not far away, floodwaters were creeping over Missouri Highway 94 near West Alton.

Tens of thousands of frogs and tadpoles could be seen in the shallow floodwater along the shoulder of Highway 94, just upstream from West Alton.
UPDATE: Jure Robic maintains his huge lead in the men's solo division. He reached the Jefferson City, Mo., time station at 10:20 p.m. CDT. He is on target to reach the Mississippi shortly before 8 a.m. today. David Haase is about 180 miles back and is expected to reach the Mississippi sometime between 12:07 and 5:19 a.m. Sunday.

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