Governor visits northwest Missouri ahead of Missouri River flooding

Missouri Governor Mike Parson visited northwest Missouri Friday to assess the Missouri River and the potential flooding across the area.

Posted: Mar 15, 2019 10:05 PM
Updated: Mar 18, 2019 3:30 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)— Missouri Governor Mike Parson visited northwest Missouri Friday to assess the Missouri River and the potential flooding across the area.

"There is no question that we are concerned about this," Parson said. 

The governor said the State of Emergency Operations Center activated at a Level 3 Friday morning. 

"What we're trying to do is make sure that we have everything in place to help the local communities here to respond to this," Parson said. 

The Missouri State High Patrol, Missouri Department of Transportation, and other local agencies have teamed up with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). 

"We are in contact with local agencies up here," SEMA Troop H Coordinator Michael Booth said. "Right now four counties have emergency operations center activated and we're assisting them with evacuations, sandbagging operations and any other request that they have."

Mandatory evacuations are underway west of Interstate 29 in Holt and Atchison counties.

"We have less than 100 homes we believe affected by the flood at this time," Atchison County Emergency Manager Rhonda Wiley said. "Right now, we have two families are that actually sheltered and other ones have sheltered with their friends and family."

While the 139th Airlift Wing in St. Joseph moved out their C-130 aircrafts Friday ahead of the potential flooding. 

"They are fulling mission capable and very actvie and involved," 139th Vice Commander Col. John Cluck said. "We have relocated them to a better location for this period of time."

During the governor's tour of the Missouri River, officials have already seen levee concerns well ahead of the predicted crest levels. 

"I believe that we saw some areas that were probably true breaches in Holt County and some in Atchison County as well," Wiley said. 

River predictions show the Missouri River reaching historic levels once all the water from the north reaches the area, but the governor believes agencies have everything in place to help people during the flood. 

"Mother Nature is in control of this sometimes, but we're going to do our best to help slow it down some," Parson said. 

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A cold front is currently moving through our area this morning dropping temperatures into the lower 40s and upper 30s. Today will be a cool day with highs in the upper 40s and lower 50s with increasing clouds. Temperatures will fall into the lower 30s tonight. We could see a few areas of light rain and drizzle this evening, but precipitation chances will start to increase overnight into tomorrow morning. With the sub freezing temperatures, precipitation will transition from light rain and drizzle in the evening to snow overnight into Tuesday morning. Snowfall will continue through the morning hours on Tuesday before transitioning to a rain/snow mix while it exits the area. Most areas will see around 1-3 inches. Accumulations will stay mainly on grassy and elevated surfaces, but expect slushy road conditions Tuesday morning. Conditions will slowly start to improve for the rest of the work week with sunshine returning and temperatures slowly warming. Rain chances will return for the end of the work week.
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