Major roads closed, flood waters rising in Lafayette County towns along Missouri River

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WELLINGTON, Mo. -- As water levels creep closer to Wellington, crews were forced to close several roads in northern Lafayette County as they wait for the Missouri River to crest.

Chris Middleton and Jake Carroll, with the Wellington-Napoleon Fire Department, said Highway 224 is a major road they often use to respond to emergency calls.

"Knowing that this is closed means we will have to re-route and go a different direction. It is obviously a big deal for us," Middleton said.

But as water levels rise, road closures aren't the only concern. On Wednesday, miles of soybean farms in the area were underwater.

Highway 224 outside Wellington

"Around here we have a strong farming community, so many of these farmers are already struggling with the high prices. And now many of these fields are obviously flooded. The prayer now is if we will be able to get these fields dried out in time to plant. A lot of livelihoods in town really depend on that," Middleton said.

Officials hope the water will begin to recede so they can reopen the roads in the next seven to 10 days.

In the meantime, firefighters have some advice: "Don't drive through water of any sort. You do not know how deep it is. You do not know if there are potholes or anything washed away underneath it," Carroll said.

"We are just really praying it does not get much worse than this," Middleton said.

Employees at a local gas station near Sni-A-Bar Creek said their store flooded several feet during the 1993 floods. This week, they've been boxing and storing some of their food in coolers while they watched water levels closely.

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