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Interstate 29 reopens after monthlong closure caused by flood damage

Posted: 5:07 PM, May 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-05 13:42:30-04
truck stop

BIG LAKE, Mo. — After being closed for more than a month, the Missouri State Highway Patrol announced Wednesday that Interstate 29 from St. Jospeh to Omaha, Nebraska, had reopened.

That was music to the ears, and promises sweet relief for the pocketbooks, of many businesses that rely on I-29 traffic to flourish.

That includes a Phillips 66 gas station and convenience store at exit 79, where the pumps have sat laregly untouched with I-29 shut down.

"Its been miserable,” manager Mendy Lewis said.

She said it has felt like the earth stood still during the last month.

"It took five weeks to go through a load of gas that we normally go through in a day,” Lewis said.

41 Action News visited the Big Lake/Mound City area last month as floodwater overwhelmed farms and homes.

Big Lake resident Cody Peters said he's living in a camper outside the gas station at the Garden Inn Truck Plaza. The owner of the Phillips 66 and Garden Inn Truck Plaza have allowed flood victims to stay there at a discounted rate.

"They are letting people store things for free," Peters said. "They are letting people stay in the hotel for cheaper rates, because they are flood victims. What they’ve done for us is just amazing."

Nearby residents hope the Army Corps of Engineers and other officials work together to prevent this type of flooding, which was fueled by breached levees, from happening again.