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Craig, MO braces for another round of flooding

Posted: 8:50 AM, May 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-05 12:34:48-04

CRAIG, Mo. — Communities still recovering from devastating floods in northern Missouri could be hit again.

In March, flooding forced residents to leave Craig, Missouri, and left behind damaged homes. The town, located in Holt County, was under a flash flood warning Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday morning, the city issued a mandatory evacuation due to flooding.

Rain water has nowhere to go. The town has plugged all their drains to prevent floodwaters from coming in. That's just one step in place as they gear up for another round of flooding.

On Tuesday, another sand delivery arrived in Craig as inmates from Western Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in St. Joseph made the sand into bags.

"We’re just going to keep stockpiling and stockpiling them until we need absolutely have to use them," Craig Mayor Rhonda Hunziger said.

The small community is bracing for more water as the nearby Tarkio river is set to break a record this week.

"The fire department will go around with trucks and the sirens just like we will if we had a tornado to tell everybody to either take shelter or get out of town," Hunziger said.

Hunziger told 41 Action News that two dozen families have permanently left town due to March's flooding.

Those who've stayed rely on Paula's Cafe.

"There was no place for people to get ice or even a glass of water and we were lucky enough to have water here," Chartina Skeen, an employee at Paula's cafe said.

It took the cafe about a month to clean up.

They're now waiting to see what happens next as levees around town remain breached.

"The rainy season hasn’t even started yet and the snow melt we usually see in June also, so there’s not going to be a window," Skeen said.

In the meantime, folks are using dirt from the school's football field to build a temporary levy coming into town.

"People just don’t give up here," Skeen said. "So they’re just going to keep on trucking because they work so hard and we’ve seen our families work hard to keep what they have."

The Tarkio River at Fairfax is set to crest Wednesday at 29.5 feet. This would break the record set in 2007, when it reached 28.9 feet.

Craig is located off of Interstate 29, which was closed north of St. Joseph , Missouri Tuesday night due to flooding from severe storms.