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Missouri River to drop below flood stage by week’s end

The Missouri River is expected to drop below flood stage by the end of this week. If the forecast holds, the Missouri River will be at a level not seen in 275 days, but springtime might bring more flooding.

“By the end of the week, all the gauges from Yankton, South Dakota to St. Louis will be below flood stage,” said Tom Waters, chairman of the Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association.

Saturated soils and levee damage from this year’s sustained flooding might make celebration brief, said Waters.

“Snowmelt and the rain in the spring is mostly going to run off and fill the system again,” Waters told Brownfield Ag News during the Missouri Farm Bureau convention at the Lake of the Ozarks. “We could see a repeat of last spring this coming spring.”

Levee repairs alone will cost more than $1 billion, according to Waters, but costs don’t stop there.

“It’s almost immeasurable, the cost of lost production in agriculture, lost crops, lost income to farmers,” said Waters. “That all trickles down through the whole state’s economy.”

AUDIO: Tom Waters

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