As Jefferson City continues to recover from last week's tornado, swollen local rivers continue to rise, with a forecast crest on the Missouri River that would be the fifth highest recorded in Jefferson City.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the latest prediction from the National Weather Service in St. Louis showed the Missouri River would crest at 32.9 feet sometime on Sunday. If it reaches that level, it would be the fifth highest crest recorded in Jefferson City. The fourth highest was 33.05 feet in 1995.
If the forecast holds, the weather service is predicting the Missouri River in Jefferson City would not fall below the flood stage of 23 feet until June 8.
The portions of Missouri Boulevard, Broadway Street and West Dunklin Street in the Millbottom area remain flooded and look to stay that way for some time, as the backwaters of the Missouri infiltrate the area. Not only has this closed state parking lots in the area, but also closed or limited access to businesses such as Baymont Hotel on West Miller Street and Capitol Plaza Hotel on West McCarty Street.
Jefferson City Operations Division Director Britt Smith said the backyards of homes on Geneva Street have been flooded by Missouri River backwater. He added the water is close to getting into some of the lower lying homes on Geneva. Smith also said they are monitoring areas along Lincoln Street and Grant Street that could be impacted by backwater from the Missouri. Sand and sandbags were brought in for residents, which Smith said they have taken advantage of.
In Cole County, Public Works Director Larry Benz said, other than areas in and around Osage City, there are no homes affected by floodwaters, that they've been made aware of.
The National Weather Service forecast Wednesday that the Osage River at the Mari-Osa Campground — upstream from Osage City — would crest at 28.4 feet over the weekend, which would be about a foot higher than what the river's level was on Wednesday.
Wednesday's river level forecast for the weekend at Mari-Osa had been downgraded from a 32.6 foot crest forecast on Tuesday.
Farther upstream, the Osage River at St. Thomas was at about 17 feet Wednesday, with a forecast crest of 18.3 feet sometime Friday or into Saturday. Minor flood stage there begins at 23 feet.
Flooding has forced the closure of more than 300 roads throughout Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said Wednesday the closures include a 67-mile stretch of Interstate 29, from just north of St. Joseph to the Iowa border.
Other major highways closed because of flooding include U.S. 54 at Louisiana, Missouri, and U.S. 36 west of Bevier at the Chariton River.
All regions of the state have been affected by flooding, though northern Missouri has the greatest number of road closures.
The transportation department said Amtrak passenger train service between St. Louis and Kansas City also has been suspended. The trains use tracks that run near the Missouri River.
On the other side of Jefferson City from Amtrak's train station, the Firley YMCA is being extensively cleaned after last week's EF-3 tornado, and a timeline to complete repairs is in the process of being determined, according to an update emailed from Jefferson City YMCA.
The YMCA said in its update that a majority of Firley's air conditioning units will need to be repaired or replaced, "and the entire ceiling needs to be replaced."
"We are working with contractors to determine a timeline to complete repairs. Once we receive the timeline, we'll be better able to share when we anticipate opening. All repairs must be made and safety concerns addressed, before opening for business," the YMCA added.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
This story was updated at 10 p.m. May 29, 2019, with more details; headline and byline were changed.