By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
A ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy weather situation as the National Weather Service doesn’t anticipate any more rain for a while.
Weather Service meteorologist Al Pietrycha says the Missouri River is expected to reach major flood stage this weekend after reaching a record crest upstream in Brownville, Nebraska.
“St. Joe is looking, the forecast, to have major flooding to start to occur during the day,” according to Pietrycha. “We hit major flooding at 27 feet and that is projected to occur sometime tomorrow and persist through the weekend.”
The Missouri River is expected to reach a record crest at Brownville this weekend. The record level at the Rulo-Brownville area is 44.8 feet. The river is projected to reach 47.1 feet this weekend before it begins to go down.
Friday morning, the Missouri River level at St. Joseph was just below 25 feet, heading swiftly to 27 feet, considered major flood stage.
It will keep rising.
The National Weather Service expects the Missouri River to reach 30.1 feet in St. Joseph early next week and hold at near record levels until the middle of next week, when it is expected to begin to slowly recede. The record level of the Missouri River in St. Joseph is 32.1 feet, set in 1993.
Pietrycha says the heavy rain which has aggravated flooding conditions in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas has ended.
“The good news is we’re not expecting any rain or heavy rain any time over the next five to seven days or so, in the area or north of the area that would flow back down into the Missouri,” Pietrycha says. “So, that will help with the water levels.”
Widespread flooding in Nebraska prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase water releases upstream of the Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam. The Corps had been releasing 50,000 cubic feet per second and has nearly doubled the output to 90,000, putting extreme pressure on the federal levee system downstream.