Heavy rains fell locally on Tuesday, May 28th and combined with similar precipitation levels north of the region to produce flooding along the Fabius River in Memphis forcing some evacuations on the west edge of Memphis.
Local rain totals in Memphis that evening were estimated at four inches. That was more than enough to force the Fabius over its banks and into the neighboring farm fields on the Highway 136 bottom near the west city limits of Memphis. The flooding also impacted the Scotland County Fairgrounds on the south side of Highway 136, but the levels never rose high enough to actually cross the road.
While flood waters began receding locally the following day, other locals across the region were not as fortunate.
On June 3rd. Missouri Governor Mike Parson toured flood damage in northeast Missouri, making stops in Hannibal, Canton, and Clarskville. At each location, Governor Parson met with local officials and then toured flooded areas.
The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency continues to coordinate with state and local officials, the National Weather Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers while ongoing flooding affects many areas across the state. SEMA has assisted with flood fighting resources in 33 counties.
Twenty-eight levee breaches have been reported across the state.
In Hannibal, the Mississippi River crested at 30.15 feet on June 1, as the second highest record in history.
In Canton, the Mississippi River crested at 27.11 feet on June 1, as the third highest record in history.
In Clarksville, earlier projections called for river levels to brush within an inch or so of record heights, but due to some upstream levee breaches the river level forecast has changed. With more rain expected locally and upstream, there is a possibility for a secondary crest in the foreseeable future. Temporary barriers totaling 1,560 feet in length around businesses in the downtown area have been built. Storms from June 1 have left 27 homes out of power and have caused some flooding around the water treatment facility. SEMA has coordinated the deployment of two pumps and two generators to keep the facility online.
“This is all about people helping people, communities helping communities, and continuing to assist each other during these tough times. Working together, we’re going to battle this flood for the long haul,” Governor Parson said. “The flooding is devastating, and we’re not out of it yet. Today was about witnessing firsthand how Missourians are rallying together to support each other and sharing with local cities that we are here to help.”
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, there are approximately 382 roads closed in 56 counties due to flooding.
On May 27, Governor Parson activated the Missouri National Guard and has deployed for flood fighting assistance in Brunswick, Canton, Clarksville, Hannibal, Hardin, and Norborne. A mission in Jefferson City includes staging vehicles for high-water rescue.
Missouri Department of Corrections offenders from Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center; Boonville and Tipton Correctional Centers; and Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center are helping with sandbagging efforts in Clarksville, Norborne, New Franklin, and Kimmswick.
The weather continued to darken the outlook for local farmers.
Based on current weather conditions, Accuweather, a national weather service has released predictions of a 9% decline in the USDA projected corn yield, dropping it from 14.96 billion bushels to 13.6 billion bushels, below last year’s 14.3 billion bushel harvest. The weather service is also predicting a 4% fall off for the USDA soybean projections.
“Part of the reason we’ve increased the losses is because it’s been a slow go, and the fields that haven’t been planted are probably the ones that are the lower-lying fields, the ones that are slower to dry out and with the weather not being ideal, it’s just going to take a while,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls. “It may get to the point very soon where they’re just going to say, ‘Forget it, we’re not planting.’”
According to the USDA, as of May 26th, Missouri farmers had only planted 65% of their corn, compared to 99% last year at that time and a five year average of 95% completion.
Just 12% of the state’s soybeans had been planted as of May 26th, well behind last year’s 75% completion rate and a five year average of 53% complete.