Rivers downstream of Kansas City are already nearing record-high water levels, causing flooding in surrounding areas, and the National Weather Service expects more rain this weekend.
Rain from northern Missouri and southern Iowa caused the Missouri River and its associated tributaries to come close to cresting, meaning water from those regions are nearing record levels, said Chris Bowman, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hills.
Over the course of the past few days, Missouri has actually been in a “dry period in a relative sense,” Bowman said. But that dry period is expected to end Saturday.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected Saturday afternoon and evening, the weather service said.
Multiple major flooding warnings are in effect along the Grand and Missouri rivers as of Friday, according to the weather service.
Most of the damage is expected to be seen in surrounding farmlands, Bowman said, but towns in floodplains downstream of Kansas City are “certainly a concern” should a levee break.
Rising water levels have already prompted the closure of surrounding highways and roads. Bowman urged Missouri residents to avoid driving through areas already barricaded.
“The signs have been up and the roads have been closed for a reason,” Bowman. “And if you live close to a levee, be aware that the levees are really holding back a lot of water right now.”
Officials in Missouri issued a mandatory evacuation order for some residents of Howard County, where the Missouri River topped a levee.
County Emergency Management Co-Director Bill John said the levee near Petersburg was expected to fail soon, KRCG reported.
Levees in Lewis County along the Mississippi River in northeast Missouri were overtopped Thursday, flooding several thousand acres of farmland. Lewis County Emergency Director David Keith said no homes or businesses were impacted.
Earlier this year, about two dozen levee systems were breached or overtopped during Missouri River flooding that devastated parts of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.