Friday's forecast was to rise to 26.4 feet at Boonville by Monday afternoon and stay around 26 feet through Friday. The river is projected to drop back below flood stage on Monday, March 25.

The Missouri River reached flood stage at Boonville Thursday afternoon, will crest on Monday afternoon and stay above flood stage for at least a week after that, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy rain and quickly melting snow on the plains has caused rivers and streams in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri to rise, feeding the lower Missouri. The flooding issues will be aggravated by an announcement Thursday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will dramatically increase water releases from Gavin’s Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota.

Tom Waters, chair of the Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association, said the release will make flooding worse in Boonville but will have the biggest impact in northwest Missouri. Water coming in from tributaries that feed the river upstream from Boonville, like the Chariton and Grand rivers, are the biggest contributors currently to the river’s rise in central Missouri.

The corps is increasing flows to 90,000 cubic feet per second to relieve pressure from Lewis and Clark Lake. The corps plans to keep releasing 90,000 cfs until at least Saturday morning, said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division in Omaha, in a news release.

Water is flowing into Lewis and Clark Lake at 180,000 cfs, according to James Lowe, spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District. Gavin’s Point Dam is holding half of what’s coming in, so it may have to start releasing more, Lowe said. Water is being held up at Kansas reservoirs to try to relieve pressure on the Missouri. That won’t change much because the main issues are at Gavin’s Point and water running into the Missouri downstream from its last dam, Lowe said.

Nebraska has seen major flooding, and the Spencer Dam on the Niobrara River, which feeds the Missouri, broke on Thursday, causing major flooding in the area, according to the Omaha World-Herald in Nebraska.

The lake was already out of flood storage because so much water has been flowing into the river between Gavin’s Point and the upstream Fort Randall Dam, the Corp of Engineers said in a news release. They can’t slow releases until runoff into the river from South Dakota and Nebraska slows down, according to Remus.

The corps was releasing 17,000 cubic feet per second Wednesday morning, and bumped that up to 27,000 by the end of the day. Thursday afternoon, the corps announced it was going to 60,000 cfs, then increased that to 90,000 cfs Thursday evening. The releases will cause the river to rise slightly higher than originally projected, and it will remain high for much longer. The most recent forecasts from the National Weather Service show the river staying near its crest for about a week.

Flooding in northwest Missouri was already severe on Friday, closing roads and inundating property. The Missouri National Guard is relocating the 139th Airlift Wing’s C-130 transport planes from Rosecrans Air National Guard Base in St. Joseph, according to a news release from Gov. Mike Parson’s office.

Parson activated the State Emergency Management Center on Friday morning to help coordinate the state’s flood response. MoDOT expects some major roadways to close due to flooding, and it’s working with Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa to figure out detour plans. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has water rescue personnel on standby, according to the release.

Boonville and Glasgow forecasts

The Missouri River was at 23.7 feet Friday morning at Boonville. It reached 21.5 feet Thursday afternoon, just above the flood stage of 21 feet. Friday’s forecast was to rise to 26.4 feet by Monday afternoon and stay around 26 feet through Friday. The river is projected to drop back below flood stage on Monday, March 25.

The highest recorded crest at Boonville was 37.1 feet during the great flood of July 1993. The last time the river rose above 30 feet was in June 2013.

Flooding will be more significant around Glasgow, where the river was at 28 feet Friday morning. It reached the 25-foot flood stage Thursday morning, and is expected to stay above flood stage until March 25. The river is projected to get as high as 31.2 feet at Glasgow on Monday, just below the 32-foot mark that the National Weather Service considers extreme flooding. It is expected to stay above 31 feet until Friday, according to the service.

Nobody in the Boonville area needs to get out today, but people in low-lying areas should be prepared to move this weekend in case the flooding gets worse, Waters said. The forecast will change depending on rain and how much snow melts over the next several days, so keep an eye on them, Waters said.

The National Weather Service forecast for the coming week is for dry and cool weather throughout central Missouri.

Cooper and Howard counties are both under flood warnings from the National Weather Service, starting this afternoon and continuing until further notice.

Low-lying areas along the river can flood when it gets above 21 feet. At 25 feet, the river can flood over low-lying farm levees. People in flood-prone areas should move to higher ground, Parson’s office said in a news release. You should also never drive past barricades on roads, and never try to drive on a water-covered road, the release said.