As the Missouri River continued to fall slowly Friday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard announced it was opening the river for navigation from St. Louis to Sioux City, Iowa.
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The Coast Guard urged caution to commercial and recreational boaters as they still were recommending against boating in these conditions with the river still in moderate to major flood stages.
The Missouri River was at 30.1 feet and falling in Jefferson City as of Friday afternoon. Major flood stage is 30 feet, and flood stage is 23 feet.
The National Weather Service in St. Louis was predicting another 1.5-2 inches of rain could fall in Mid-Missouri this weekend, which could slow down the receding of the Missouri River. The NWS predicted the river could fall below flood stage June 23.
Coast Guard officials said in a news release that both commercial navigators and recreational boat operators should be aware of the increased risks as the river returns to lower levels within its banks.
The Missouri River Channel is established, managed and maintained by a series of dikes and revetments. These structures are designed to work most effectively at river levels where water is within the bank lines.
When river levels go out of bank, the navigation channel can develop sand bars, snags or other unexpected channel conditions. These higher river conditions increase the risks for boaters. As the river levels decrease, the performance of the river structures improves, allowing the channel to return to more predictable and safer conditions.
State employee parking lots resurfacing
The state Office of Administration announced Friday the bus shuttle service for state employees was ending, as enough state parking lots and spaces in the Missouri Capitol Complex were reopening as floodwaters continued to recede.
OA anticipates only partial flooding into early next week will affect parts of Lot 7 (located at U.S. 63 and Broadway Street) and Lot 12 (located at West Main Street and Missouri Boulevard). Many parking spaces in these lots are expected to be available for state workers to use.
Parking in the St. Peter Catholic Church lower parking lot on Broadway Street will remain open to state employees next week.
Parking had been limited at the Harry S. Truman State Office Building and Broadway Building, both on West High Street, and at the Kirkpatrick State Information Center on West Main Street due to flooding. State workers at these buildings have had to use alternative parking arrangements since May 28.
State workers will receive parking updates via email, OA officials said. State workers with questions can call OA's Division of Facilities Management, Design and Construction at 573-751-3339.
Amtrak service resumes
The Missouri Department of Transportation announced Friday that the Missouri River Runner Amtrak service will resume regular twice-daily passenger train service between Kansas City and St. Louis starting today.
The morning trains ran Thursday and Friday after Amtrak had been fully out of service locally since May 22 due to flooding as well as congestion of freight traffic along the Union Pacific rail lines, which Amtrak uses.