Treloar levee holding; Two water rescues overnight

By Adam Rollins, Record Staff Writer
Posted 4/5/17

The city of Marthasville is in no immediate danger of flooding, although open fields south of the city are filling with water.The Missouri River levee that protects Treloar and Marthasville is …

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Treloar levee holding; Two water rescues overnight

The city of Marthasville is in no immediate danger of flooding, although open fields south of the city are filling with water.The Missouri River levee that protects Treloar and Marthasville is holding, a levee district representative said. As long as nothing drastic happens by this evening, officials predict the worst risk of flooding will have passed."We feel comfortable the levee won't be topped," said Al Jacob of the Missouri Valley Levee District. There hasn't been any indication of trouble with the levee, he said. "You never know what's going to happen, but right now we feel confident that we can handle what we have."Water flooding into the area of Marthasville and Dutzow is backflow from the Missouri River, which is 21 feet above flood stage at Washington as of Thursday. The water is coming up Charrette Creek, covering low portions of Highway 47 and Highway 94 and cutting off access to the Missouri River bridge at Washington.The backflow is running into fields south of Marthasville and doesn't pose any risk to most of the city, Mayor David Lange said. Downtown Marthasville is currently protected by the Tuque Creek levee and the raised bed of the Katy Trail, he explained. Marthasville's ball park and several businesses are outside that protection and could be affected by flooding.The Missouri River has been in flood stage since heavy rains pounded the Midwest over the weekend. The National Weather Service predicts the water will begin receding Thursday night and drop below flood stage between Sunday and Monday.Southern Warren County had relief from flooding concerns Wednesday afternoon when a levee on the south side of the river failed near Berger in Franklin County, relieving pressure downstream near Marthasville and Dutzow. That didn't last — once the river bottoms at Berger were full, water levels began rising once again late Wednesday, forcing the closure of the Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River.

If the levee breaks

The severity of flooding in southern Warren County strongly depends on the condition of the levee that extends from Treloar to south of Dutzow, officials said.Officials are cautiously optimistic that the levee will hold. If it does, water won't rise high enough to trouble Treloar or Marthasville, Lange said.But part of the emergency response coalition's job is to be prepared for the worst case scenario, which is why responders are making plans for the unlikely event of a levee break, Marthasville Assistant Fire Chief Sean Johnson said.If some portion of the Treloar levee fails, officials said water will have to fill tens of thousands of acres of farmland before it starts flowing into the streets of downtown Marthasville. That would give residents at least 12 hours to prepare and move to higher ground, authorities said. Only the low-lying area of the city would be affected.Marthasville police officers and firefighters planned to contact residents in the downtown area Thursday afternoon to discuss emergency evacuation plans, should the need arise.If downtown Marthasville is flooded, Mayor Lange said access point east and west of the city will be underwater. He said the city has a plan to haul rock and create a temporary road through an orchard north of Marthasville to facilitate access if that happens.

Two rescues overnight

Crews responded to three water rescue calls Wednesday night into Thursday morning, two of which end with extractions.The first was to assist law enforcement in the search for a woman who said she was lost on Tuque Creek Road just before 11 p.m., Johnson said. The lengthy search ended when they were notified the caller had made it out on her own, he said.At about 1:15 a.m., Warrenton and New Melle firefighters responded to Augusta Bottom Road, where a 70-year-old woman was stranded in rising water in her vehicle. She was trying to reach Union and drove into an area where the road had been closed, authorities said.A couple and their two dogs had to be evacuated at about 6 a.m. from their home on Boone Monument Road near Highway 47, authorities said. Their house had been surrounded by water, and they called for evacuation, Johnson explained.The family was taken to Charrette Baptist Church on Highway O, which is serving as a staging area for emergency response teams and is available as a shelter for anyone who needs to be evacuated.

Backflow from the Missouri River coming up Charrette Creek is flooding the area south of Marthasville and Dutzow, including sections of Highway 47 and Highway 94, cutting off access to the bridge over the Missouri River at Washington. City officials said the flood water will collect south of Marthasville, but won't affect the city proper as long as levees hold.

A levee between Treloar and Dutzow protects much of southern Warren County from flooding from the Missouri River.