Flooding prompts evacuations in Mo., closes park

Missouri River flooding prompted state officials Friday to close a park near the swollen river and forced some residents in northwestern Missouri to flee.

Lewis and Clark State Park between Kansas City and St. Joseph was closed, but park officials already had removed equipment and prepared for high water because the park is on an oxbow lake near the Missouri River and has flooded in the past. People camping in the park were allowed to move to another park farther south, and officials were monitoring water levels to determine when Lewis and Clark State Park could be reopened.

Floodwaters upstream inundated bottomland in Atchison County, and residents were leaving after a levee failed Thursday night. Officials said the levee breach was about three miles from a bridge crossing the Missouri River and appeared to be about 300 yards wide. Phelps City was flooded, and water was entering nearby Watson and Langdon, threatening the roughly 250 people living in those towns, officials said.

In Watson, the water was rising Friday as Wenona Fischer made final sweeps through her home to gather some heirlooms and smaller items left behind when her bigger possessions were moved. Fischer said a big flood in 1993 did not compare to what they were seeing now.

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