(ATCHISON, Kan.)—Atchison residents are reacting to the rising waters of the Missouri River. The town of 11,000 people sits just off the river.
Just outside the city's downtown area lies a riverwalk where many people took a moment to marvel at the flooded river. Residents were caught off guard over the river's sudden rise.
"It's kinda crazy," said Breanne Kreikemeier, a student at Benedictine College. "I just hope everyone can stay safe during it."
"We had no idea it was gonna rise this much all of a sudden," said Kylie Mulholland, a student at Benedectine college. "We were really in shock when we saw it."
"This kinda shocked me," Travis Grossman said. "This kinda came down the pipe a couple of days ago, we had no idea."
The water's edge now sits a couple of feet away from the city's river walk where people walk and bike.. While the rest of the city is on higher ground, the Riverwalk area along with a stretch of 59 Highway could be swallowed by the river over the next couple days.
59 Highway is a major route into the city and locals said if it were to become impassable due to floodwaters, it could be a huge issue for commuters next week.
"I worry about the people that have to work outside of Atchison," said Camille Mancini, a student at Benedictine College. "It’d be hard for people who are employed outside the city."
With the river expected to reach near-record flooding, it reminds many that living along the river that floods will happen.
"What’s remarkable is this water level is as high as it was when it flooded in 1993 and also in 2011," Grossman said.
All eyes will certainly be on areas along the river for the next couple of days, locals call it a spectacle of nature while at the same time wishing for no devastation.
"God willing and the creek don’t rise is the old expression," Grossman said. "We’re hoping for the best."
The river is expected to crest later this week.