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Area residents watch Missouri River and hope their properties will make it through

Area residents watch Missouri River and hope their properties will make it through

May 23rd, 2019 by News Tribune in News

Farmers in north Jefferson City are dealing with a host of weather related issues, mostly revolving around the saturated soil and the seemingly constant rains. Now the rising Missouri River threatens that same ground as it's expected to top the levees Thursday, May 23, 2019, and flow into the fields. Some areas along Missouri Highway 94 or Mokane Road, as shown here just east of Capital Sand Plant, look more like large, shallow lakes.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

Gallery: Spring 2019 Flood Photo Gallery

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Jefferson City residents on both shores of the Missouri River prepared Wednesday for rising waters, and two people with property in North Jefferson City said flood insurance has gotten too expensive for them.

Maurice Lewis was born and raised in what was known as Cedar City — part of North Jefferson City in the Missouri River's floodplain where Lewis still lives, despite the devastation of the Flood of 1993.

The Missouri River is expected to reach a peak of 32.4 feet Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. That is more than 2 feet over what the Capitol View Levee in North Jefferson City holds.

Lewis said he planned to stay at his home for this flood, and said he would be OK for a couple days. "I know this can happen at any time," he said.

That was just before Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin issued a Declaration of Emergency and a mandatory evacuation of the North Jefferson City area Wednesday, effective at 5 p.m.the same day.

The mandatory evacuation stated the city may not be able to provide emergency services to individuals within the evacuated area and "any person who refuses to comply with this evacuation order could be held responsible for all costs incurred by the city in providing emergency services that are reasonably related to such person's failure or refusal to comply with this evacuation order."

Ahead of the order, George Carter was moving items from a shed at the home he owns in North Jefferson City and packing the back of a pickup truck with Christmas and Halloween decorations and lawn and garden equipment; his tenants in the rental home were at work, he said.

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Carter said it was his first time having to do such a thing, and would soon be starting to take items out of the home itself to a storage unit.

He said he canceled his flood insurance last year as the cost of coverage grew.

"It's too expensive to have," Lewis said of flood insurance that costs $500-$700 a year — "if they'll cover you," as he said many times insurance would not cover a property that's flooded before.

His parents' two-story home in the same neighborhood was lost to the Missouri River in the Flood of 1993.

He pointed out on his porch how high the water had gotten then, up past the decorative "Lewis" sign by the front door.

On the south side of the Missouri, while the parking lot for Red Wheel Bike Shop will flood, owner Nick Smith said, he does not believe the flood will enter the shop.

Smith added he hasn't taken too many precautions in anticipation of the flood.

"It's not going to get in the bike shop or the coffee shop next door so we're just going to deal with it," he said.

He said he was unsure if the city will close the road, preventing customers from driving to the shop.

News Tribune reporter Nicole Roberts contributed to this story.

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