The Holt County Sheriff has announced an evacuation from the Exide Technology Plant in Forest City as flooding concerns intensify in the region.
In St. Joseph, the latest forecast now calls for a river crest of 30.1 feet late Friday or early Saturday, which would be the second-highest level on record after 1993. In Holt County, Presiding Commissioner Tom Bullock told Missouri Farm Bureau that every flood that hits the area seems to be record.
Shortly before 5 p.m., the city of St. Joseph closed Stockyards Expressway due to flooding on the city's southwest side. Police said the road will be closed until further.
"Basically, all the levees around here are busted," he said, "and we haven't even gotten into the wet time of our season. Usually the river runs high in May and June."
In Craig, the only the thing that could be heard in the evacuated, flooded city Wednesday night was rushing water and railroad crossing signals, even though all train traffic had ceased due to flooding. The Missouri State Highway Patrol worked throughout the night on water rescues in the Craig area, with four people rescued from homes and three retrieved from a boat that ran out of fuel.
"Sleep tight River Rats, tomorrow is a new day," the city of Craig tweeted.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is limiting releases from a key Missouri River dam, but heavy snowpack in northern states could exacerbate flooding in recent weeks.
The Corps made the announcement as Craig, Missouri, was flooded following multiple levee failures in Holt County. The Missouri State Highway Patrol worked throughout the night on water rescues in the Craig area, with four people rescued from homes and three retrieved from a boat that ran out of fuel.
Releases from the Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota were reduced from 28,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 24,000 cfs Wednesday morning. Releases are scheduled to be reduced to 20,000 cfs Thursday. The Corps plans to maintain Gavins Point releases at 20,000 cfs as long as system conditions allow.
"Our office will continue to monitor runoff conditions as the temperatures in the upper basin warm and begin to melt the remaining plains snowpack,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division.
The National Weather Service is forecasting high flows from melting snowpack in the coming weeks on the Big Sioux, Vermillion, and James Rivers in eastern South Dakota.
FThese conditions will result in a significant portion of the melted snowpack becoming direct runoff into smaller streams, and eventually, into the Missouri River.