WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The National Weather Service said Wednesday that the forecast calls for the Missouri River to rise about 18 inches more before cresting Thursday and Friday. Possible heavy rain in the next 36 hours would alter that forecast, the weather service said.

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As the rain-swollen Missouri River continues to rise, the Iowa Department of Transportation warned drivers that a portion of Interstate 29 north of Council Bluffs, near Honey Creek, is expected to close by Wednesday night.

By Wednesday afternoon or evening, water could be over the roadway, a scenario that forecasters have warned of for the past week because of increased rainfall across parts of the Midwest.

Parts of northern Nebraska, the Dakotas and Montana have seen in excess of 400% of normal rainfall for the month, including 8 to 10 inches that fell last week in areas southeast of Valentine.

“We don’t expect the flooding to significantly impact travelers on I-29 Wednesday morning, but we are closely monitoring the situation and may have to close I-29 before the afternoon commute,” Scott Suhr, a district transportation planner for the Iowa Transportation Department, said in a press release.

Drivers can check current road conditions at 511ia.org.

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If I-29 closes, northbound traffic will be detoured to eastbound I-80 to the northern part of westbound I-680 and back onto I-29 at Loveland. Southbound traffic will be directed eastbound on the northern part of I-680 to I-80 west to hook back up with I-29 in Council Bluffs.

I-680 could be affected, too, depending on how high the Missouri River rises. National Weather Service meteorologists have said minor to moderate flooding could occur along the Missouri River from Blair south to Rulo.

Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Monday that they don’t anticipate more damage to homes and communities from flooding but added that people behind damaged levees need to pay attention to water levels and changing conditions.

The organizers of Sunday’s Heartland Marathon have tweaked the course to account for the possibility of flooding along the Missouri.

 

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Reporter - Education

Erin is an enterprise reporter for the World-Herald. Previously, Erin covered education. Follow her on Twitter @eduff88. Phone: 402-444-1210.

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