Osage residents respond to recreational boating halt

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OSAGE - Residents along the Osage River have observed the water on their properties rise almost two feet in just the last day. Many homes and docks sit in the water as they are waiting for it to crest. 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol stopped recreational boat traffic from Osage to the Bagnell Dam.

According to a press release, the immediate halt is due to "deteriorating safety conditions as a result of flooding and to prevent further property damage." The release says strong currents and debris can also be dangerous for boaters.

One resident living along the river said he's been contacting patrol to make this call for a while now. 

"When they don't shut the boat traffic down everything that you have put up on metal shelving all ends up in the river or down the river which is aggravating," said Gregory Maples.

Maples was walking through chest high water to get to his house that sits in the middle of what is now the river. Rising waters has caused many loses for him, the most recent was one of his cars. 

"The people down river from me have to go through this road," Maples pointed at a flooded part of the road. "I call this the swamp"

He said if the water keeps rising as predicted, those neighbors will have to access their homes by foot or boat. 

"Being here for 37 years, you're used to a lot of water. But were just not used to it coming up so fast and this much water," said Maples.

The Maria Osa Delta RV Park sits on the other side of the river. The co-owner Sherri Taylor said this water is the highest she's ever seen in her time here. She also had been in contact with patrols to try and stop boat traffic earlier. 

"We're happy and the neighbors are happy because there's water up in these people's homes." said Taylor. "These people just go flying down the river and these waves beats at their houses, it beats at the shores." 

According to the National Weather Service, water levels could continue rising into next week. Due to a full Truman Lake, Taylor says they will be waiting for a very long time for this to recede.