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Missouri River still main focus of area flooding

Missouri River still main focus of area flooding

May 24th, 2019 by Bob Watson in Local News

Flooding along the Missouri River continues to be a major problem, with the river already above flood stage from Jefferson City to Hermann — and expected to stay above flood stage at least through June 4.

And that's caused main roads to be closed in a number of areas.

"State Highway 94 and several county roadways in Callaway County are under water," Sheriff Clay Chism told the News Tribune on Thursday. "The river is expected to crest (this) morning at 31.8 feet — a level that many of our local residents along State Highway 94 have previously experienced."

He said water was "well into Mokane, and sandbagging efforts there began (Wednesday) with the direct assistance of various county officials."

Chism said his office has used its "agency drone to conduct aerial assessments," including "assisting with the examination of nearby levees for pending breaches, while obtaining a bird's-eye view" of the flooding situation.

MoDOT road closings

The state Transportation Department's Traveler's Map, at modot.org, also shows that:

Missouri 94 is closed at Portland and between Route PP and Steedman.

Route C is closed at Mokane.

In North Jefferson City, the U.S. 63 Outer Road that goes past the soccer fields and into the former Cedar City, is closed from its intersection with U.S. 63 to the U.S. 54-63-Route W (Airport Road) interchange.

However, the main highways, U.S. 54 and 63, remain open.

Route W is closed between South Rock Creek in Cole County and Osage Bend Road in Osage County.

Missouri 179 is closed at Sandy Hook in Moniteau County.

Route BB is closed at Gabriel Creek, east of Missouri 135 in Morgan County.

Route E is closed at the Gasconade River, east of County Road 538 in Maries County.

Missouri 100 is closed at Bailey's Creek in Morrison, in Gasconade County.

As in Callaway County, various county roads also may be closed by high waters — and they won't appear on the MoDOT online list.

Osage County Sheriff Mike Bonham told the News Tribune: "We don't expect river levels to top 1993 levels, this will be a fairly big event.

"Typically, flooding and high water events draw crowds and on-lookers into areas where emergency and maintenance crews are trying to access.

"We are asking people who do not live in specific or general areas of where this flood is taking place to stay out of or away from these areas."

He urged people in low-lying areas along the Missouri River "to take appropriate actions and to monitor river levels for any change," and he encouraged them "to relocate while they can, as emergency vehicles may not be able to get to them in a timely manner, if needed."

Flood levels

The Missouri River at Jefferson City was at 30.82 feet, or 7.82 feet above flood stage, at 4 p.m. Thursday.

It's expected to crest at 31.8 feet, or 8.8 feet above flood stage, by 4 p.m. today — then fall slowly until it drops below the 23-foot flood stage by 4 p.m. May 30.

At Chamois, where flood stage is 17 feet, the Missouri was at 26.6 feet, or 9.6 feet above flood stage, at 4 p.m. Thursday.

It was expected to crest at 28.5 feet, or 11.5 feet above flood stage, by 4 p.m. today, then fall slowly. Forecasters predicted Thursday the river still would be at 19 feet, 2 feet above flood stage, on June 2 — and they didn't make any predictions beyond that date.

At Gasconade, where the Gasconade River empties into the Missouri, the Missouri was at 33.2 feet, or 11.2 feet above the 22-foot flood stage, at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The river was expected to crest at 34.6 feet, or 12.6 feet above flood stage, at 4 p.m. today — then fall to 24 feet, still 2 feet above flood stage, by 4 p.m. June 4.

At Hermann, where the flood stage is 21 feet, the Missouri was at 30.46 feet, or 9.46 feet above flood stage, at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Forecasters said the river would crest at 33.5 feet, or 12.5 feet above flood stage, by 4 p.m. today — then fall until it reaches the 22-foot flood stage by 4 p.m. June 4.

Tributaries

As of Thursday, the Missouri River's tributaries had more volatile predictions than the main stream.

The Moreau River near Jefferson City crested at 20.47 feet — 3.47 feet above flood stage — at 4 a.m. Thursday, and had dropped to 13.4 feet, or 3.6 feet below the 17-foot flood stage, by 4 p.m. Thursday.

The Moreau was expected to be at about 3 feet — 14 feet under flood stage — by 4 a.m. Tuesday.

The Osage River at the Mari-Osa Campground, just north of the U.S. 50/63 bridge between Osage and Cole counties, was at 26.2 feet — or 7.2 feet above the 19-foot flood level — at 4 p.m. Thursday.

It was expected to crest at 26.7 feet, 7.7 feet above flood stage, about 4 a.m. today, then fall to 22 feet by 4 p.m. Tuesday.

However, farther upstream, the Osage River at St. Thomas never reached the 23-foot flood stage.

The river crested at 4 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service said, at 18.44 feet, or 4.56 feet below flood stage.

The Osage at St. Thomas was at 17.4 feet, or 5.6 feet below flood stage, at 4 p.m. Thursday, and was expected to fall below 16 feet, or 7 feet below flood stage, by 4 p.m. today.

The Maries River at Westphalia also never reached its 10-foot flood stage.

It crested at 8.21 feet, or 1.79 feet below flood stage, at 4 a.m. Wednesday, and had fallen to only 4.3 feet, or 5.7 feet below flood stage, by 4 p.m. Thursday.

The Maries was expected to fall below 3 feet by 4 p.m. Monday.

The Gasconade River near Rich Fountain was at 15.87 feet, or 4.13 feet below flood stage, at 4 p.m. Thursday.

It was expected to crest at 20.6 feet, just six-tenths of a foot above the 20-foot flood stage, by 4 a.m. Saturday — then fall back to 10 feet by 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Ameren Missouri said Thursday the flood gates on Bagnell Dam remain closed, and the dam is releasing only as much water into the Osage River as the Lake of the Ozarks is taking in above the dam.

The flood gates at the Truman Dam, upriver from the Lake of the Ozarks, also are closed.