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High water delays Missouri River kayak, canoe race

By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Organizers of the country's longest non-stop river race have delayed this year's competition to avoid high water on the Missouri River.

Canoeists and kayakers in the MR340 have 88 hours to paddle the 340 miles from Kansas City to St. Charles. Racers were supposed to leave from a park in Kansas on Tuesday. But the water is moving too fast to be safe, organizers say, and the race is now scheduled for August.

National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs says river levels have been above average for most of the last four months.

"It reminds me of the period from '93 to '95, in the Missouri and Mississippi basins, when we had repeated floods year after year after year. The levels we've had this year haven't been quite so dramatic," Fuchs says.

Fuchs says the waters should stop rising this weekend, and could be down to more normal levels by the new MR340 race dates, August 24th to the 27th.


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