Missouri River flooding causes water treatment issues in Kansas City

The Kansas side of the Missouri River is seen in Atchison, Kansas, U.S., March 22, 2019 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. SHAWN RIZZA/via REUTERS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) – Record flooding along the Missouri River, rain and melting snow have impacted water treatment in the Kansas City, Missouri area, the city’s water operator said as it advised some customers to seek medical advice about the safety of their drinking water.

KC Water, which serves some 170,000 customers, said late on Friday that it had failed to meet “enhanced treatment technique standards” this month for the treatment of the parasite Cryptosporidium, which can cause diarrhea.

While KC Water said the state does not consider this an emergency, it advised customers with compromised immune systems, the elderly and those with infants to seek advice from their health care providers.

Record floodwaters that submerged vast stretches of Nebraska and Iowa farmland along the Missouri River crested on Friday at the waterfront city of St. Joseph, Missouri, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents from low-lying areas.

As the floodwaters receded on Saturday and the river fell to 31 feet (9.45 m) from Friday’s record of over 32 feet, a spokeswoman for the city of St. Joseph said the evacuation order had been lifted for the area.

The flooding along America’s longest river was triggered by last week’s “bomb cyclone” storm, which killed at least four people, drowned livestock and closed dozens of roads across a large swath of Nebraska and Iowa.

Property and financial losses for the two Midwestern states were projected to surpass $3 billion.

Sections of the Missouri and Mississippi River Valleys experiencing major flooding could see more light to moderate rainfall in the coming days, the National Weather Service said in a bulletin on Saturday.

Reporting by Karen Dillon; Additional reporting and writing by Maria Caspani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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