U.S. Highway 59 in the Rushville, Missouri, closed due to flooding Tuesday afternoon.
“There is no back way from Atchison to Missouri through the Winthrop area,” officials from the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office said. “Please be patient with our deputies. We all want the roads opened as well.”
In Kansas, the Doniphan County Sheriff’s Department began urging travelers to use caution near Columbus Road west of Wathena at around 12:30 p.m. Mud and trees began falling onto the roadway in that area. The road remains open, but caution is encouraged.
Twenty-six miles away in White Cloud mudslides along K-7 Highway caused trees and dirt to cover the roadways. The road was closed as the Kansas Department of Transportation worked to clear the area.
“Rainfall can be a powerful force and can even cause mudslides over highways,” K-Dot officials said. “Our crews are currently hard at work across the state clearing debris, flagging traffic and putting up road-closure barriers as several of our highways are closed due to high water. Please adhere to the road closures and don’t try to drive around them.”
On Tuesday evening, Atchison County saw the renewed closure of River Road north of city limits as waters returned to levels reminiscent of the initial great flood of early April. The renewed closures are reminiscent of the pattern of flooding in 2011, although 59 was blocked through much of the late spring and summer of that year, for more than 100 days.
Authorities said on Tuesday that the renewed closure of Highway 59 came despite concerted efforts to prevent it.
“(The Missouri Department of Transportation) worked furiously to keep it open but Mother Nature won this round,” the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office said.