The city of Hannibal is gearing up for the 59th Annual National Tom Sawyer Days.
This event attracts thousands of people every year. The community plans all year for this event but they are also preparing for something else as well ... the Mississippi River rising to flood levels.
As of 10 o??clock Monday, June 30, 2014, the river was at about 20 feet. The flood gates were installed earlier Monday as a precaution.
"All my various radars look and see what they are saying as far as rain or weather or anything north of us, trying to anticipate, will there be a revised crest," John Hark, Director of the Marion County Emergency Management Agency, said.
The National Weather Service expects the river to crest to the point where it will cover the tracks in downtown Hannibal on Thursday, July 3, 2014. That same day is also the first day of this year's National Tom Sawyer Days.
Even with the potential threat, the show will go on.
"It will not affect Tom Sawyer Days at all, we have been behind a levee for over 20 years now, so it??s just business as usual," Gail Bryant, Executive Director of the Hannibal Visitors and Convention Bureau, said.
Businesses along Main Street echoed Bryant. They are not concerned about rising river levels.
Their main concern is prepping for this annual event during our nation's birthday.
"Spring, it??s something you live with along the Mississippi, something to be expected, but that's why there is a levy in place," Bryant said.
National Tom Sawyer Days will begin Thursday, July 3, 2014 and end Sunday, July 6, 2014.