For the first time this year, the Missouri River at Washington will top the 20-foot flood stage this weekend.
The river, which approached the 20-foot flood stage Friday morning, is expected to crest at 23.1 feet Sunday and then slowly drop back below flood stage by Wednesday according to predictions released by the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.
At 23.1 feet, only minor flooding is expected. The Rennick Riverfront Park lower lot is closed and Highway 94 could be closed near Matson.
This is the first flood since July 7, 2011, when the river crested at 21.65 feet.
At the expected crest level, it would be the highest river level since it reached 23.65 feet June 21, 2010.
At Hermann, moderate flooding is expected with a crest of 26.4 feet Sunday morning.
In Hermann, the river already was over the 21-foot flood stage with a measurement of 23.78 feet at 8 a.m. Friday morning.
Flooding on the Katy Trail, the Lions Club athletic field and on Highway B in Franklin County is expected.
At Gasconade, the river was at minor flood level of 26.5 feet Friday morning at 8 a.m. The crest is expected at 28.8 feet Saturday night. Some road flooding in the Rhineland area across the river is expected. Flood stage there is 22 feet.
The crest isn’t expected to reach St. Charles, the final gauge on the Missouri River, until later Sunday through Monday morning. The crest there is expected to be 28.2 feet. Flood stage is 25 feet.
Flooding of Aubuchon Road and the Katy Trail is expected.
The Meramec River near Sullivan has exceeded its predicted level and was gauged at 17.92 feet Friday at 8 a.m. The predicted crest had been 16.1 feet Friday.
An updated prediction should be issued by the National Weather Service at some point Friday.
Flood stage is 11 feet at the gauge and moderate flooding happens at 20 feet.
At this level, the main flooding is in Meramec State Park, Onondaga Cave State Park and Arapaho Campground areas, although the Sappington Bridge Road area could come into flooding issues if the river reaches moderate flood levels of 21 feet and over.
While the Meramec River in Sullivan has exceeded its projected levels, the river has leveled off at Pacific, where a 9.5-foot level was reported at 8 a.m. Friday morning.
A 16.4-foot crest is predicted, which is minor flooding. Flood stage at Pacific is 15 feet and action stage is 13 feet.
Some flooding is expected on Highway N, Opeechee Beach Road and Hunters Ford Road.
The Bourbeuse River at Union is expected to reach the 15-foot flood stage, cresting there late Saturday night and then drop back to below the 13-foot action stage Sunday.
Travelers are reminded they can check the Missouri Department of Transportation traveler information map to find a listing of the latest road closures due to flood conditions.
According to the National Weather Service, all of Franklin County has received between 1.5 and 4 inches of precipitation this week.
The heaviest band ran northeast from just north of Gerald through New Haven and Washington.
Weekly precipitation at The Missourian office in Downtown Washington was 3.57 inches. That broke down to the following readings:
• 1.41 inches Tuesday morning (included weekend precipitation);
• 0.28 of an inch Wednesday morning;
• 0.58 of an inch Thursday morning; and
• 1.3 inches Friday morning.
For the month, a total of 6.3 inches of precipitation has been measured. This week’s precipitation makes April the wettest month of 2013 so far with 11 days to go.
Average precipitation for all of April is 3.95 inches. The wettest April on record was 1994, when 10.41 inches were measured.
Yearly precipitation so far is 18.29 inches, well above average. The average through April 19 is 10.94 inches.
Precipitation in 2012 did not reach 18.29 inches until May 29.
Totals for Downtown Washington so far are:
• 4.09 inches in January (average is 2.43 inches);
• 2.93 inches in February (average is 2.46 inches);
• 4.97 inches in March (average is 3.55 inches); and
• 6.3 inches so far in April (average is 3.95 inches).