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Flooding causing high river levels in Cole Co.

Flood warnings are in effect for the Missouri River throughout Mid-Missouri until further notice. The river’s water levels stand around 27 feet, which is a moderate flood level.

A flash flood watch is in effect through Friday night for all counties along and east of Highway 54, including Jefferson City and the Lake of the Ozarks.

“So the rivers backing up into the local streams and creeks,” said Matt Morasch, Jefferson City Public Works Director. “It just makes that potential flash flooding more, especially when our ground is saturated so nothing is going to soak in. It’s all going to run off, so that just exasperates it even more.”

Seven county roads in Cole County have already been closed due to flash flooding. Some of these that sit along the Moreau River are under a couple feet of water.

Eric Landwehr, the Cole County Engineer, said the rain has lasted longer than usual for the season and has delayed work projects.

“We have years that are real dry, years that are real wet,” he said. “But normally by this time of year it kind of dies down and starts getting hot. But we’re still seeing a lot of rain and trying to get projects done in the county, its tough.”

These projects include several road rebuilding projects along Pioneer Trail Drive and Rainbow Drive.

“Anytime you get into tearing up a road and having to rebuild it, you don’t want it to be too wet,” he said.

The Jefferson City Public Works Department designed a Flood Action Plan in 2008 for various stages of flooding. Morasch said it also depends on the amount of rain that accumulates in a certain amount of time. He said the river being at 27 feet is not a huge issue.

“The plan would really kick in around 29 feet, so that two feet makes a big difference,” he said.

Water levels are not expected to go down until the end of the week.

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