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Flooding affects felt; scammers take advantage

Road closed sign in place at Atchison's River Road due to flooding. (Credit: Cathy Scholz)

(MSC News)--Authorities Friday afternoon worked to evacuate a low-lying area of St. Joseph, Missouri, as the Missouri River crests at near-record levels.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jake Angle says the evacuation began late Friday morning in the city's Lake Contrary area.

The river is cresting in the city at levels that are less than 1 foot away from those reached during historic 1993 flooding.

More than 100 people are sandbagging to shore up the levee that protects the Missouri Air National Guard and Rosencrans Airport.

Kansas City Power & Light says that because of the flooding, crews have shut off power to some customers in five communities, including St. Joseph, which has a population of about 75,000. 

In response to the flooding, the American Red Cross has opened emergency shelters.

According to a news release from the agency, the shelters are:

The Keys Christian Fellowship

6001 S. 9th Street

St. Joseph, MO


Troy Community Building

1217 Last Chance Rd.

Troy, KS


Mound City Christian Church (previously opened)

402 5th Street

Mound City, MO

What to bring:

Clothing for a few days, bedding, toiletries, essential medication, your child’s stuffed animal, blanket or other comfort item, your emergency kit.

Individuals wishing to help those affected by disasters like floods and countless other crises can do so by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Financial gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

Meanwhile, Brown County, Kansas Sheriff John Merchant Friday said he’s received a report from a resident who said they received a phone call seeking money from someone claiming to represent the Red Cross.

Merchant said he is advising area residents to be very cautious about such calls which are a scam.

According to Merchant, he called Red Cross and was informed that they would never make such a phone call.

Merchant reminds residents to never give out personal information when receiving an unsolicited call.

In Kansas, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management State Emergency Operations Center remains activated at a 24/7 level as major flooding is occurring along the Missouri River in Doniphan and Atchison Counties. The SEOC is monitoring flooding conditions and providing support to Doniphan and Atchison counties.  KDEM has two regional coordinators deployed to assist Doniphan county emergency management officials.

State agencies that have reported to the SEOC are Kansas Division of Emergency Management, Kansas National Guard, Office of the State Fire Marshal, Kansas Highway Patrol, Department for Children and Families, Kansas Department of Transportation, National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  A liaison from FEMA has been requested to report to the SEOC today.

“The potential for flooding is high in several counties and we will do what we can to support the counties to protect the lives and property of the people we serve,” said Governor Laura Kelly.

The City of Elwood sounded their sirens on March 21 when the river level reached a 30 foot flood stage on the Missouri River at St. Joseph and strongly recommended evacuations.  The river is anticipated to reach 32 feet at approximately 1 p.m. today.

There is a shelter open in Troy, 1225 Last Chance Road, which is currently sheltering six individuals. 

A pet shelter has also been opened in Troy at the Doniphan County Fairgrounds, 211 N Boder St., and is providing care for more than 80 pets.  The Kansas Department of Transportation delivered a pet sheltering trailer overnight to Troy to support an increased sheltering demand.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism currently has one air boat mobilized to support water rescue operations as necessary within Atchison and Elwood.  A request has been made by the SEOC for two more teams to deploy.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal currently has one search and rescue task force in Elwood and is deploying as second.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing water pump support.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is providing four tractors to operate water pumps.  KDOT has closed the following roads due to flooding:  US-59 from Atchison, Kansas, into Missouri; K-7 from Sparks, Kansas, to the Nebraska line and the ramps off Highway 36 going into Elwood. Counties are reporting damaged road systems due to flooding.  For updated road information go online to or call 511 or online and mobile (

The Kansas Highway Patrol has units in the area that are providing assistance to local law enforcement with evacuations, road blocks and other assistance as needed.

Gov. Kelly issued a state of disaster emergency declaration on March 15 for counties affected by flooding.  The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is urging Kansans who wish to help the victims of the flooding, to donate money to a reputable voluntary, charitable or faith-based organization rather than collecting food, clothing or other goods.

The Associated Press and state agencies in both Kansas and Missouri contributed to this story. 

Editor's note: The following statement was released Friday evening, March 22, by the Platte county, Missouri Sheriff's Office. 

Today at 4:53 PM, Platte County Presiding Commissioner Ron Schieber signed a State of Emergency declaration for Platte County, Missouri. After consultation with Sheriff Mark Owen, the Platte County Emergency Management Director, a review of the continued, and forecasted, state of flooding from the Missouri River, Commissioner Schieber elected to sign the State of Emergency Declaration. The Missouri River has overtopped significant portions of levees in the northwest portion of the county. Flood waters have covered numerous county roads and has caused the closure of Missouri 45 highway from Nower Road north to the county line. All stakeholders remain actively engaged during this flooding event. 
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