U.S. Highway 59 closed in Atchison County, Missouri as communities braced Tuesday for more rainfall and water coming down the Missouri River.
And late Tuesday night, state officials chose to once again close off northbound Interstate 29 — from the U.S. Highway 71 junction all the way to the Iowa state line — due to floodwaters. Troop H of the Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed I-29’s closing as of 9 p.m., with the decision depicted on a Missouri Department of Transportation highways map online.
The highway between Fairfax and Tarkio also was closed due to water on the roadway.
The news came as rainfall and thunderstorms struck the region and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers increased water releases from a key dam on the Missouri River.
The Corps announced plans Tuesday to increase releases to 5,000 cubic feet per second on Tuesday and today. That will bring the total amount released from Gavins Point, in South Dakota, to 70,000 CFS on Wednesday.
“We need to ensure we have space available to manage additional runoff,” said John Remus, chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.
It will take four to five days for that water from Gavins Point to reach the St. Joseph area. The latest National Weather Service update calls for a river stage of 27.4 feet Thursday in St. Joseph.
While that’s below the 32 feet from March, the increased river levels are raising concerns because of compromised levee systems above and below St. Joseph.