Jefferson City could see flooding from the MO River

Spring 2010

A handful of gardeners braved the hot morning sun Friday to tend to vegetables in a community garden in the Missouri River bottom in north Jefferson City.

"The peas are right here. They need to be picked today, Gardener Mike Raithel said. We're not gonna worry about the water, because we can't do anything about it."

Right now, that threat is hundreds of miles away, but it could be here within a couple of weeks.

The Army Corps of Engineers is already dumping substantial runoff from reservoirs in the Dakotas.

They plan to spill 150,000 cubic feet of water per second from Gavin's Point Dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border.

"We know that there are going to be flooding implications for the state of Missouri. We do not know what the extent of those are going to be," MO DNR Director Sara Parker Pauley said.

Anyone over the age of 25 will remember the flood of1993, when the river reached a record 39 feet at Jefferson City.

The Missouri River was nine feet above the top of the main channel levee. That community garden was once a thriving community of homes and businesses.

At this time, our message to Missourians is very, very clear: be prepared. Governor Nixon said.

Right now, the Corps of Engineers expects the river to crest at the capitol somewhere between 27 and 32 feet, assuming normal rainfall between here and Gavin's Point. That threatens to put water on the valley floor once again.

"I have talked to many of the tenants out here about this and most everybody's aware of what's going on. They've heard about it through the news media or through the internet, Jefferson City Memorial Airport Manager Ron Craft said.

Craft said the airport, which suffered about nine feet of standing water in '93, is still a long way from any kind if evacuation order.

After the '93 flood many farm field levees were not replaced.

That suggests a much wider flood plain now, and less of a threat.

"There is additional capacity in the system now. But to suggest that we know how that capacity will mitigate for these unprecedented amounts of water, I just simply cannot make that determination, Pauley said.

The state will provide continuous updates on the Missouri River as the Corps of Engineers releases more water upstream.

Here is a flood water link to check the flooding in MO, and check out the links below to track the river in a specific mid-Missouri city.

How bad do you think the flooding will get this year? Do you think it will be worse than it was in 1993? Comment below and vote in our online poll.