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Missouri River flooding reaches areas of Parkville. Here’s what Kansas City can expect

Flooding in Parkville along Missouri River

Parks in low-lying areas of Parkville were flooded in March, 2019, as the Missouri River continued to swell.
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Parks in low-lying areas of Parkville were flooded in March, 2019, as the Missouri River continued to swell.

The Missouri River flooding that closed highways and water traffic north of St. Joseph continued to make its way toward Kansas City Saturday, inundating low-lying areas of Parkville.

While most of Parkville remained unaffected Saturday morning, parts of English Landing Park and Platte Landing Park along the river were closed and underwater.

Frank Dinovo was among dozens of residents at the park surveying the waters.

“I came down this morning to take a walk. I didn’t think it was flooded yet, but it’s flooded,” Dinovo said. “I’ll have to go someplace else. I’ve been cooped up all winter long and I’d been looking forward to getting outside here in the nice day, you know, blue sky, and unfortunately (the flooding is) going to get worse I guess.”

The National Weather Service is predicting major river flooding in northwestern Missouri and extreme northeastern Kansas with floodwaters not expected to crest until Tuesday.

Rain storms and snowmelt in other states have swollen the river, causing serious flooding in Nebraska and forcing the closure of Interstate 29 at mile marker 110 near Rock Port, Mo. The Missouri Department of Transportation is telling motorists heading north to use Interstates 35 and 80 to get around it.

The U.S. Coast Guard has shut down all water traffic from St. Joseph almost to Omaha and has asked boat operators to limit their wake between St. Joseph and Kansas City to minimize damage to the levees that keep flooding at bay.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts the river will crest above major flood stage in Atchison, Kan., and just below that stage in Leavenworth and Parkville.

In Kansas City, where banks and levees are higher, it’s projected to crest at 32.4 feet, which is just above “minor” flood stage. Any roads or buildings that are along the Missouri River or its tributaries may be be affected. The river last reached a similar level in May 2016. The projections for the current flood, at least in Kansas City, are nowhere near the historic flood of 1993, the worst in the city’s history, when the river crested at 48.87 feet.

Reinaldo Buso was walking his dog, Zeke, at Platte Landing Park Saturday and trying, in vain, to keep him from wading waist-deep into muddy water along the access road.

Buso said he remembered the 1993 flood well.

“We just had moved to where we are now, living in the area, just driving around seeing how bad it is and everything,” Buso said. “It was high. It was pretty high.”

Kansas City Star health reporter Andy Marso was part of a Pulitzer Prize-finalist team at The Star and previously won state and regional awards at the Topeka Capital-Journal and Kansas Health Institute News Service. He has written two books, including one about his near-fatal bout with meningitis.