As Jefferson City prepares for forecast flooding, the city is urging residents to take necessary precautions.
The river elevation is forecast to crest at 32.7 feet Thursday, more than 2 feet above the Capitol View Levee in North Jefferson City and 4-5 inches lower than the 1995 flood. This means the levee would overtop between this evening and Thursday morning, according to a Tuesday city news release.
The city is currently following its "Action Plan for Missouri River Flood Events," which can be found at jeffersoncitymo.gov. Residents can also find the flood viewer website showing flood water locations at different river gage levels throughout the city.
The flood viewer website is a guide and should be used for informational purposes, Jefferson City Operations Director Britt Smith said.
Jefferson City Police Department Lt. Dave Williams said the city wants to put flood information in one central location for residents as it will provide important information and cut down on the number of inquiries to emergency services.
"What we don't want is we don't want the citizens to be trying different areas and getting answers and getting inconsistent answers," he said. "So we're working on getting one local spot where people can get that information because when we do close streets — something that happens an hour ago or something that happens a minute ago — we want to make sure we're getting that out as rapidly as we can so we don't have situations where people are getting caught in floods."
The 911 Center will still take calls for emergency situations, Williams said.
The city is also preparing its infrastructure for the anticipated flooding. The Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department will use sandbags at the Washington Park Ice Arena and the Jefferson City Public Works and Planning Department moved airplanes and equipment out of the Jefferson City Memorial Airport.
Road closure barricades are also staged at various roadways in anticipation of flooding, and city parking lots that are known to flood are being closed, according to the news release.
Smith said the Waste Water Regional Treatment Plant in north Jefferson City was reconstructed and elevated several years ago so "we should be able to continue operations on high-river level operations."
While the city and county are taking precautions, City Administrator Steve Crowell said, "individual residents and businesses need to pay attention to their particular circumstances." Residents should also obey road closures and not drive through flood waters, the news release adds.