Recent rain brings concerns about flooding along Missouri River

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WAVERLY, Mo. — One old adage goes, “It’s spring in Missouri. Time to start watching the river.” Incoming wet weather is a signal for some cities concerned about expected flooding.

Anyone who was on the roads Wednesday could tell you the weather was crummy. And all the water hitting the roads and everything else has to go somewhere: tributaries eventually flowing into the swelling Missouri River.

No one watches the rising murky water of the river from the Port of Waverly on Wednesday. No one except Joe Narron, a fisherman wearing camouflage boots and a cowboy hat with decorative dice.

“There’s a pretty good log right there,” Narron said, pointing to a large piece of debris floating by.

Narron said that most of his life he has fished around this spot, including during the 2019 floods.

“I was down there fishing along the bank. I seen trees as big as that one right there just coming down, bobbing up and down. They’d hit the bank while I was fishing there and it sounded like a train crash,” Narron said.

Tom Waters, chairman of the Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association, said this weekend’s flooding won’t have the same volume as in years past, but it could create different problems.

“One of the things we do see with this type of flooding with the river jumping up really fast, and once it crests, it looks like it’s going to fall off fairly fast as well. So that up and down action of the river causes a lot of erosion,” Waters said.

At Waverly, the Missouri River is expected to rise five feet between Wednesday and Friday. And the further east you get, the more the river is expected to rise. In Jefferson City, the Mighty Mo is expected to rise by 12 feet between Wednesday and Friday.

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