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Flooding Risk Along Missouri River Lessens

Grant Gerlock
Harvest Public Media

If current forecasts hold, the Missouri River should fall below flood stage late Friday.

For weeks, the Army Corps of Engineers has been monitoring a stretch of the Missouri between Rulo, Nebraska, and Leavenworth, Kansas, after heavy rains fell upstream in South Dakota and Iowa.

On Thursday, though the river remained above flood stage in St. Joseph, Kansas City District Chief of Emergency Management Jud Kneuvean says the metro has been relatively fortunate.

"Though we've had heavy localized rainfall, it's moved around. Some of it's stayed to the south of the metro in what we call the Osage River Basin," says Kneuvean. "Other nights it fell in the Grand River basin, which is in north central Missouri. That helps alleviate those fears because those are different entry points into the Missouri river."

Even if the National Weather Service forecast holds true and the Missouri falls below flood stage Friday, Kneuvean says the Corps will be keeping a close eye on rainfall in the coming weeks. Historically, flooding has occurred most often in June and July, but some of the big floods in 1993 and 2011 continued late into the summer and fall.

Kneuvean says because the river has been close to flood stage often in recent years, the Corps continues to encourage safety around waterways so people don't become complacent.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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