City officials cancel evacuation orders

At around 9 a.m. Saturday, officials from the City of St. Joseph cancelled the evacuation notices for the city and parts of Buchanan County.

Posted: Mar. 23, 2019 2:28 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) At around 9 a.m. Saturday, officials from the City of St. Joseph cancelled the evacuation notices for the city and parts of Buchanan County.

A mandatory evacuation was issued for areas near the L-455 levee because of the possibility of the levee over topping. The evacuation included parts of St. Joseph's south side and rural Buchanan County.

"It was a very strong precautionary measure. It's a difficult decision to pull the trigger on an evacuation but when it's time, it's time," Mary Robertson, the city's communications manager, said.

When the river reached 31 feet and was rising on Friday, the city decided to issue the evacuation.

"We do not take lightly an evacuation of any sort because it does displace residents from their homes, it does displace businesses," she said. "It creates a shutdown for business operations and that's concerning to all of us but at the end of the day, it's life safety that matters first and foremost."

City officials met Saturday morning and the decision was made to cancel the evacuation notices. 

"The benchmark again was when we reached a level of 31 feet and saw that waters were still receding, then we decided to lift the evacuation," Robertson said.

She said the evacuations on Friday went smoothly and was pleased to see everyone listening to the notice.

Stockyards Expressway in St. Joseph remains closed as of early Saturday afternoon and will remain closed until the river is around 27 feet Robertson said.

The city's emergency operations center is in its "warm" phase and is till operational. Officials will continue to monitor the river levels over the coming days.

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Temperatures remaining near or slightly above average for the next few days as conditions stay dry. For tonight, another dry night with mostly clear skies. Lows will be in the upper 40s and lower 50s. There could be a little bit of patchy fog as well.
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