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Although U.S. Highway 59, pictured above, remains closed between Rushville, Missouri, and Atchison, Kansas, Buchanan County officials began reopening other flooded roads on Monday.

With floodwaters on the decline, officials are about to turn their attention to evaluating damage to structures in southern Buchanan County.

“The rivers are going down,” said Bill Brinton, the county’s emergency management director.

At midday Monday, the Missouri River at St. Joseph measured at 26.54 feet and was reaching a moderate flood stage, according to Brinton. The river at Atchison, Kansas, was 27.78 feet and also transitioning into a moderate phase. Minor flooding from the Platte River was still a concern at Agency, Missouri, with a measurement of just over 20 feet taken Monday.

The lower levels mean that a list of county roads that had been closed due to flooding has started to thin. An updated list was unavailable Monday evening, although roughly half of the roads closed in the county’s Eastern District have reopened.

“I can imagine they’re just now getting them opened,” said Brinton. “Our crews are out assessing county roads that have been damaged by the flooding.”

North Shore Drive in Lewis and Clark Village remains closed, as does U.S. Highway 59 heading west from the junction with Missouri Highway 45 and on toward Atchison.

Brinton said many Lewis and Clark residents chose to camp out while waiting on the waters to recede.

“They’re starting to clean up,” he said of the village’s residents.

Agency, Missouri, will receive some flood damage analysis starting today.

“I’ll be going house to house, measuring the water depth,” said Brinton, adding he also plans to process damage in Lewis and Clark.

Those reports will be forwarded to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will make determinations on available assistance.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jimmy Barham said St. Joseph will slowly recover its way back to a normal river stage.

“It looks like a steady decrease through the middle of the week,” he said.

Other assessments of previous flood damage are still pending. Representatives of local governments and eligible agencies are invited to attend an applicant briefing Thursday sponsored by the State Emergency Management Agency. The session is designed for governments and nonprofits included in a federal disaster declaration for floods and severe storms in March and April.

The session is set for 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the East Hills Library, 502 N. Woodbine Road. Applicable counties include Buchanan, Andrew, Atchison, Holt and Platte.

The USDA has disaster assistance programs to help agricultural producers recover from recent flooding. An emergency conservation program provides funds and technical aid for farmers and ranchers in Atchison, Holt, Buchanan, Platte and Nodaway counties.

More information is available at www.fsa.usda.gov.

Ray Scherer can be reached at ray.scherer@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPScherer.