Evacuation ordered in Holt County town, yet some residents staying despite flood risk

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CRAIG, Mo. -- The mayor of Craig calls it a "mandatory voluntary" evacuation. People don't have to leave, but they're being encouraged to for their own safety.

But as levees continue to break, people in the small Holt County town are working to save their city. Every drop of sweat is needed.

Leaders in Craig said another levee broke Tuesday morning, and heavy equipment has been brought in to help load sand bags more efficiently.

Mayor Rhonda Hunsinger said people are permitted to stay in town, even though there's an evacuation order in place. Residents who remain have to come to City Hall though.

"A lot of them, when they knew this might be coming, they already made reservations for hotels and motels," she said.

On Tuesday, Jeana Gorudeuk was loading sandbags, but she's not leaving. She said her house sits on a hillside.

"I think people are a little bit frightened. I think that's why they're here. I think everyone is hoping they can save what's theirs," she said.

Marty Liles, a Missouri Department of Transportation engineer, said the agency is keeping a close eye on roadways and water-related trouble.

Interstate 29 has been closed just north of St. Joseph all the way to the Iowa border as rushing water gets closer to the interstate.

"We really don't know at this time when it's going to happen," Liles said. "It's unfortunate we're impacting the traveling public, but we want to make sure their safety is paramount for us."

Hunsinger said the town of roughly 220 residents survived flooding in 1993 and 2011 -- and somehow, they'll get through this one, too.

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