Locals recall ‘great flood of 1993’ as they brace for rising water

Although it has not yet reached flood stage in Callaway County, the Missouri River already is running high near Portland.

Although it has not yet reached flood stage in Callaway County, the Missouri River already is running high near Portland. Photo by Mandi Steele.

PORTLAND — Eighteen years ago, Loretta Mize spent a week stranded with her 4-year-old granddaughter and her mother-in-law when the Missouri River rose up over its banks just a few hundred meters away, leaving her home surrounded by water.

With authorities predicting the potential for severe flooding again this summer — Callaway County Emergency Management Director Michelle Kidwell said the Army Corps of Engineers has told her to expect river levels to run from 27-35 feet — Mize and residents of other area communities located along the river are hoping that does not happen to them again.

“Water was all the way up to the porch. It wasn’t up here (in the house), but it was all around us,” Mize said as she recalled being cut off by water for “at least a week” while her husband, Paul, struggled to get home from Arkansas, where he was working at the time.

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