JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – Missouri Governor Mike Parson urged Missourians to use caution around floodwater as Missouri River levels near cresting at major flood stage in some Missouri communities. Rain will move into the western part of the state tonight through Wednesday morning but is expected to have minimal effect on current river levels.
“Our prayers go out to our neighbors in Nebraska and Iowa who have been hit with devastating flood impacts,” Governor Parson said. “As flooding in Missouri continues to keep roads closed and impact homeowners and farmers, I encourage Missourians to stay alert and be cautious while near impacted areas. Never drive onto a flooded road, no matter how low the water may appear.”
The Governor cautioned that despite Missouri River crests this week, flooding will remain a hazard well into the spring because of a combination of additional snow melt from the north and the already saturated ground.
In addition to ongoing flood monitoring efforts across the state, the current response includes:
MoDOT continues to work with Nebraska and Iowa to provide alternate routes while major roads are closed, including I-29 near Rock Port. Northbound I-29 traffic into Iowa is being detoured at I-35 in Kansas City, where travelers will continue north on I-35 into Iowa. From Des Moines, travelers will drive west on I-80 and continue onto I-680 to connect back with I-29 near the Council Bluffs/Omaha metro area in Iowa. Check the MoDOT Traveler Information Map for road closures at traveler.modot.org/map.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol has additional marine operations troopers and swift-water rescue equipment in northwest Missouri. The Patrol conducted three swift water recues in Holt County over the weekend and troopers are going house-to-house in Watson, Missouri, after the levee breach on the Nishnabotna River. The State Emergency Operations Center is operating at Level 4, enhanced monitoring.
SEMA assisted the city of St. Joseph with recruiting volunteers for sandbagging efforts with the coordination of AmeriCorps St. Louis, Missouri Adventist Community Services, Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief, and the Missouri Department of Corrections. Ten pallets of bottled water were also provided by the Salvation Army for Bigelow and Fortescue in Holt County after a water treatment facility was forced to shut down operations because of flooding.
Missourians should be careful around flooded areas and understand the risks floodwater poses. Standing water can carry infectious diseases and hide other hazards, including road damage, glass, and sewage. Storm drains can create an extremely dangerous situation for anyone caught in the current. Avoid walking through floodwater and keep children from playing in it.