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More rain in forecast increases Missouri River flood worries

Rain is in the forecast for central Missouri throughout the week, causing concerns that historic flooding on the Missouri River will continue or get worse.

And the inundation might continue well into the summer.

National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs said weather service staff are monitoring the rain moving in.

“There is a potential of additional flooding and there is a potential of higher flooding, so we are concerned with that possibility,” Fuchs said.

He said it’s hard to determine if the river crests will rise, but the rain might be spread out enough so that it prolongs the river crest instead of bringing river levels higher. However, danger remains.

“More levees could fail, there’s no question about that,” Fuchs said.

“As long as the river stays up for a long period of time, and it has stayed up in Jefferson City at or above 32 feet now for about the past five days at least,” Fuchs said. “The longer it stays up on those levees the weaker they become and the more prone they are to failure or even breaching.”

The river was at 32.39 feet Monday morning, more than 2 feet above major flood stage in Jefferson City. It was expected to crest early Tuesday at 32.7 feet. However, the forecast only takes the next 24 hours of rain into consideration. That would be the fifth highest crest on record at Jefferson City.

So far the river has overtopped or breached several levees in the area, including Howard and Chariton counties, Jefferson City and southern Boone County.

Fuchs said this will not be over anytime soon.

“This is going to be a summer of high flood potential that we’re going to have to monitor for quite a while,” he said. “Even though we are forecasting a crest here in the next few days, and there is a chance that the crest may be the highest we see for a while, we’re by no means out of the woods.”

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