Forecast of additional heavy rain revised

By Danny Henley, Courier-Post Reporter
Posted: May. 7, 2019 9:46 am

With additional heavy rain forecast this week across Northeast Missouri, Fabius River Drainage District (FRDD) officials are urging people who live and work near the Fabius River basin to remain vigilant.

Accumulated precipitation that is forecast by the National Weather Service to fall over a five-day period across Northeast Missouri has been reduced from 4 inches to 2.5 inches. If that rainfall materializes, it could impact the levels of the North, Middle and South Fabius Rivers.

The FRDD issued a statement Sunday that advised residents and business owners near those waterways of the possible need to evacuate. On Monday, district officials said the "possibility remains for the need to evacuate."

While FRDD officials stressed that they are confident in the levee system.

The North Fabius River is approximately 109 miles long. It winds through a number of Northeast Missouri counties, including Marion County.

The Middle Fabius River, which is about 76 miles long, is formed in Scotland County by the confluence of the North Fork Middle Fabius River and the South Fork Middle Fabius River. It flows through Knox and Lewis counties before joining the North Fabius River in southeastern Lewis County.

The South Fabius River, which is approximately 82 miles long, is formed in Knox County by the confluence of the North Fork South Fabius River and the South Fork South Fabius River. It too flows through a handful of Northeast Missouri counties including Marion County.

The projected rain this week is thus far not expected to halt a steady decline in the Mississippi River level in Hannibal.

After cresting at 28.25 feet on Friday evening, the river has dropped 2 feet. As of late Monday morning the Mississippi River level in Hannibal was 26.2 feet.

Major flooding in Hannibal occurs at 24 feet or higher. It is expected to fall below 24 feet on Thursday morning, May 9.

Despite the fact the crest forecast in Hannibal was dropped on Friday from 29 feet to 28.4 feet, the Hannibal Board of Public Works (HBPW) continued to add wooden extensions to the floodgates and a portion of the flood levee. Heath Hall, general manager of the HBPW, said the installation work continued until 11 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday a private contractor was helping HBPW personnel fill the void between the two sides of the wooden extensions with sand.

Hall said the additional work was done as a precaution in case the river level were to rise again.

According to the city, volunteers are still needed to help fill sandbags at the street department's maintenance facility at 701 Warren Barrett Dr. Work will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Anyone still needing sandbags may get them by coming by the street department between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays.

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