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Moniteau County awaits flood levels to drop

Moniteau County awaits flood levels to drop

June 19th, 2019 by Danisha Hogue in News
A Sandy Hook resident paddles near the speed marker on Missouri 179 in town. (Photo by Chanda Lusk)

As Missouri River flooding enters the fourth week, Moniteau County residents see the impacts of travel on their everyday life.

Missouri Department of Transportation closed Missouri 179 on May 22, according to its website, but it reopened on Tuesday.

In Sandy Hook, Chanda Lusk said her family was able to drive down a logging road behind their home to access Missouri 179 when waters were high. Others traveled by kayak to get out.

"When we heard the water was coming, we parked vehicles on the water's edge," Lusk said.

Eight residents stayed in their homes and were basically trapped for three weeks, she added.

"It was hard because you had to douse yourself in bug spray and put on shoes that you know you could walk through water in," Lusk said.

A 20-year resident, Lusk said she had never seen the water so high. Neighbors often met up to kayak down the highway.

On the farm behind their home, the horses, goats and cows were unharmed. During the disaster, she said she felt the heart of community — neighbors checked on each other daily and surrounding towns were ready to supply needs.

"When we were stuck in here, we had so many people from our community offer to meet us at the water's edge with food or feed," Lusk said.

With water going down, life is getting back to normal. Missouri River levels in Jefferson City were at 28.06 Tuesday morning.

Over the weekend, Moniteau County Commissioner Noland Porter said the predicted rain was a threat to levels dropping.

"Most people from here (Jamestown or Lupus) go to California to get to Jefferson City," Porter said.

Associate commissioner for three years, Porter said this is the longest he's seen Missouri 179 flooded.

Lupus City Clerk Sue Denny said travel is better now than previous weeks. Residents are able to park their vehicles at Lupus Baptist Church and walk. Before, canoes were used to get to the road.

"The water is going out," Denny said. "It's very wet and not very pleasant and very muddy — but we're doing alright."

After floods in the 1990s, most of the homes were raised, she said. However, with roaring waters nearby, it has been a little scary. Water wells will need to be checked as the river goes down, she added.

"The good thing is that none of the living spaces were damaged," Denny said.

However, some basements did receive damage, she said.

During major flooding stage, residents were asked if they wanted to evacuate, Moniteau County presiding commissioner Mac Finley said.

"We've offered at one point to evacuate the area of Lupus, but we didn't have any takers on that," Finley said.

National Weather Service expects the flood stage to remain in the moderate range, between current levels and 25 feet through this week.

Additional weather resources:

Eastern Missouri river stages

Western Missouri river stages

Mid-Missouri forecast, radar

Ameren's Truman and Bagnall Dam daily report

Missouri state highway road closings