UPDATE, March 23, 11:30 a.m. | According to the St. Joseph Police Department, the evacuation order was lifted behind the L-455 Levee on Saturday morning. Citizens and businesses are allowed to move back into homes and properties.
EARLIER | Houses in south Saint Joseph, Missouri, were still on dry ground Friday, but that could change suddenly if the Missouri River continues rising.
City leaders ordered a mandatory evacuation in neighborhoods that are threatened earlier Friday afternoon.
St. Joseph resident Renee Downing followed those orders and left her home. She said all she could do was grab some clothes, the kids, the dogs, and jump in the car.
“I took the necessities; Stuff that we needed," Downing said. "Whether stuff can be replaced and lives can’t, so we just took what we could."
About 7,500 people live and work in the south St.Joseph neighbored that was evacuated, forcing police into an position to help organize the exodus.
People had to show their ID if they wanted to get back into the neighborhood to get more belongings from their homes.
One man who has lived in the St. Joseph neighborhood for almost 50 years said he did not want to leave.
“Physically, it wasn’t hard at all because I didn’t try and take much with me," resident Randy Sanble said. "Mentally and emotionally, I’ve been struggling with it. I love my home and I love where I live and I don’t want to sleep anywhere else, but tonight, I’m going have to."
Everyone along the Missouri River is hoping the river will be kind and leave their homes alone.