By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
A levee north of Highway 59 in southern Buchanan County has been breached by floodwaters, forcing the closing of Highway 59 from Highway 45 to the Amelia Earhart Bridge into Atchison, Kansas.
Buchanan County Emergency Management Director Bill Brinton says floodwaters now threaten Winthrop as well as Lewis and Clark Village.
“We have notified all of the residents who live in southwest Buchanan County and then the city of Winthrop and Lewis and Clark Village. Most of the people who (live in) Lewis and Clark Village have self-evacuated,” Brinton says.
Brinton says emergency crews had been closely watching as floodwaters overtopped the levee. The levee gave way and failed late this morning, sending floodwaters over Highway 59 and throughout the area.
The levee break could relieve growing flooding concerns downstream.
“We just heard from the National Weather Service that we were about to have a record set near Atchison and, with the water flowing down, it’s now flowing out into Buchanan County and so it certainly is a flooding issue,” Brinton says.
The National Weather Service has revised upward the expected crest of the Missouri River at St. Joseph. The Weather Service says the river now has topped 28.5 feet and is projected to crest at 30.1 feet tomorrow morning around 7 o’clock. NWS projects the Missouri River to drop below major flood stage Sunday evening.