Local, state and county officials continue to keep watch of the water levels along the Missouri River.

The Missouri River was at 28.43 feet at 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service Missouri Basin River Forecast Center. The level is considered moderate flooding. Flood action stage is 23.5 feet and minor flood stage is from 26.5 to 28.2 feet.

At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, the river was predicted to remain at moderate flood stage until Monday afternoon, peaking at around 28.9 feet Friday. It was predicted to drop below minor flood stage by Sep. 29.

Washington County Emergency Manager Dan Douglas said the latest predictions call for the Missouri River to remain around 24 feet into early October. He said, however, that is assuming little to no new precipitation in the forecast.

"Unfortunately, we are getting accustomed to the high Missouri River levels," he said. "As far as safety actions and precautions, the simplest is to stay off the Missouri and Elkhorn rivers until they have a chance to drain."

Douglas said there a lot of new obstacles that are hidden beneath the water and encouraged people not to go around barricades or drive through flooded areas.

"Not only risking your life, but also those lives of the people that come to the rescue," he said.

Blair's Optimist Park closed because of flooding

On Wednesday, the City of Blair raised the flood gate and closed Optimist Park due to flooding. 

"It is just starting, but expected to cover more of the park throughout the day," Public Works Director Al Schoemaker said Wednesday afternoon. "We are planning on keeping the gate up through the weekend."

No wake advisory issued for Missouri River

Earlier this week, due to concerns of high water levels and water flow rates impacting levees and properties along the Missouri River between Sioux City, Iowa, and Rulo, and the potential for those impacts to be aggravated by passing vessel traffic, the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested all vessels operate at the slowest speed necessary for safe navigation and to avoid producing a wake in the area. The order will be in place until further notice.

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