HANNIBAL, Mo. (KHQA) — The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Monday for many areas along the Mississippi.
As snowmelt and rainwater flows in from the north, cities have begun to put precautions in place.
Jacob Nacke, Hannibal police chief and director of Emergency Management, says it's better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, which is why Hannibal put in all five of its flood gates on Wednesday.
"We're installing all five gates today due to the projected river level of over 21.5 feet," said Nacke. "What that does is it triggers a response on our end to install the gates, which isn't that abnormal. It's just once it gets to that level, we have a plan set on what actions to take at what level."
Hannibal residents are well prepared to battle high river levels. In 1993, they saw a record high of 31.8 feet—making this warning smooth sailing.
“There's nothing concerning right now, as long as Hannibal’s been here along the river, we've dealt with these issues from, you know, snow melt up north," said Nacke
KHQA spoke with the National Weather Service Monday, and they do not expect flood waters to reach residential areas; however, excess creek water could be a small concern for the riverfront.
”So the river can't drain and when that happens, the river starts to push water into Bear Creek a little bit. So you do see some localized impacts down here on the side closer to South Main Street," said Nacke. "You notice there's not many houses in that area anymore, a lot of people took advantage of the flood buyout programs and after some of those major issues we had years ago."
Despite impending water, Megan Rapp, director for the Visitors Center, still expects high tourism in the downtown area.
“It is going to be business as usual," said Rapp. "Out of the last 11 years, seven of them we've had some type of levy gates put in. All the attractions the businesses are open, even the riverboat will move to their north dock, so folks can still enjoy a one-hour sightseeing cruise.”
Officials do not know when the gates will be removed; however, the river is not estimated to reach high levels until the first week of May.