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Callaway County roads close from record-setting flood

Mokane residents pack as buildings begin to flood

South Callaway County flooding

CALLAWAY COUNTY, Mo. - More than two dozen roads in Callaway County have been closed as Missouri River water levels surpass the flood of 1995.

County Sheriff Clay Chism said 27 roads were closed due to flooding Wednesday, and he expects more than 30 to be closed before water recedes.

"I’ve been around for several floods. I was around for the ’93 (flood). This water isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. It’s not going to just all go away overnight. It’s going to take several days," Chism said.

In Mokane, the Lions Club Park was underwater Wednesday after the levee was overtopped.

According to the National Weather Service, the Missouri River reached a height of 33.44 feet Wednesday, just past the 33.05 feet flood recorded in May 1995. The flood of 1993 remains at the top of charts by a wide margin at 38.65 feet.

Dozens of Mokane residents coordinated a sandbagging effort with ease, as this is something they're used to.

"They call us river rats for a reason," said Robert Spencer, a Mokane resident since the 1960s. "The river doesn’t run us off, we run the river off."

An alderman for the city, Chad Booher said he and one other person emptied the City Hall before water rushed in and moved into a building higher on the hill.

"It’s kind of part of living down here," Booher said.


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