Recent rain has eyes looking at Mississippi River - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Recent rain has eyes looking at Mississippi River

MISSISSPPI COUNTY, MO (KAIT) - The Mississippi River is rapidly moving after the heavy rain that fell in the last week. Thursday afternoon the water at the Port of Osceola was standing a little over 28 feet putting it slightly above flood stage.

Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore said, "Flood stage is when the main river begins to back out along the lower spots along the flood plain, which we call inside the levee or the unprotected side of the levee."

Kennemore said the river is forecast to rise above 32 feet by next Tuesday. At that point the water begins to flood some low-lying farm land, which can cause headaches for farmers. 

"They may lose a crop every year or so but it's not devastating. They expect that. They know that the risk is there," said Kennemore.

He said the recent heavy rain upstream has played a role in the water rising, but that's not the only reason.

"When the snow starts melting and we have the winter and spring rains it always comes up. It has all my life come up and it is not uncommon to back out in these low areas," said Kennemore.

The Port of Osceola plays a very important role in the economy of northeast Arkansas, especially for farmers. But with the river on the rise, could it pose a problem for importing and exporting?   

Kennemore said, "Some inconvenience in the transportation, but the river generally when it gets that high comes down in a week. So it's just kind of a nuisance."

He said in order for major problems to occur, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel say the river has to rise to historic levels.

"One of them referred to it as the Noah Flood. It's just not going to get over that levee," said Kennemore.

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