Buchanan County woman heeds advice and evacuates home as Missouri River rises

BUCHANAN COUNTY, Mo. -- Gov. Mike Parson stressed the importance of being proactive instead of reactive when it comes to likely flooding along the Missouri River.

Ruth Niemann is heeding the advice and evacuating her home in Lewis and Clark Village in Buchanan County.

"I don't have flood insurance, so I don't know what I'll do," Niemann said. "If I can clean it up and sell it, I will. I don't know."

Niemann has lived there for more than 40 years. She's facing her third flood. So it was no question to get out when she heard of the voluntary evacuation in place.

"Well it hurts, but you know they're all just material things," Niemann said.

Ruth Niemann

She said she couldn't rise to the occasion without her community or family, but she does worry about being a burden.

"Kids will have to worry about where I go and what I do," she said with tears in her eyes.

But her granddaughter, Annie Lutz, said it's their turn to take care of her.

"She does everything for everybody else. So to see her to have to go through it again, and then what is she going to do afterwards? Is she going to be able to come back or where are we going to go from here?" Lutz said. "It's going to be hard."

"I was so comfortable," Niemann said. "I love my home, but God has other plans for me so I guess we'll see."

While she was packing up, Parson was assessing the flood damage from the air. He landed Friday afternoon at Rosecrans Memorial Airport in St. Joseph after surveying the area impacted by the recent flooding in northwestern Missouri.

"Missouri River levels are expected to rise dramatically over the weekend with a 1.5 foot rise expected by Saturday in some areas," Parson said.

Around 100 people have been displaced as of Friday evening, according to Atchison County's emergency manager.

"Anytime you're seeing that kind of devastation out there and you see water levels rising and you see people's homes that are getting close to the water lines or electric plants and things like that," Parson said, "it's concerning."

But it's a concern for Buchanan County Emergency Manager Bill Brinton who remembers the flood in 2011.

"I always think about flooding," Brinton said, "because people's lives are changed forever."

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.