|River Expected To Crest At 29.5 Feet Friday, July 1
Volunteers filled 6,000 sandbags to help Jackson County be as prepared as possible in the event of flooding. > MORE
The National Weather Service (NWS) is currently projecting that the Missouri River will crest near Sibley and Levasy at 29.5 feet sometime this Friday, July 1. That will put the river at the brink of topping the primary levees in eastern Jackson County, which stand at 30 feet.
The water level at Sibley this afternoon was at 27.82 feet.
A levee breach near Atchison, Kansas may be causing inaccurate measurements in gages at Atchison and Leavenworth, Kansas. Once more data is collected this evening, the NWS river-level projections might be revised "upward" for both the Missouri River and the Kansas River.
Sandbags Being Put In Place Along Rail Line
The Jackson County Public Works Department has sent a 13-man crew to Levasy to begin reinforcing the opening where a Union Pacific Railroad line passes through a secondary levee. This secondary levee is located beyond the primary levee on the river's edge.
Sandbags are being stacked up to the shoulder of the tracks. Rail traffic is currently continuing on that line.
Water Approaching Highway 24
With the Missouri River on the rise, the tributaries that feed into it are also beginning to swell. Water from Fire Prairie Creek is approaching Highway 24 just east of the Levasy exit. Jackson County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Curry noted that Missouri Department of Transportation officials may soon order barricades to be placed across the road.
Record Release Rate
The Missouri River began to rapidly swell this spring. First, the April run-off from snow melting in the Rocky Mountains proved to be unusually high, according to the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Then historic amounts of rain fell on the Dakotas during May.
Those wet conditions prompted the Corps of Engineers to gradually begin releasing water from the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota. After another five inches of rain in parts of South Dakota early last week, the Corps increased the rate of water release to a record 160,000 cubic feet per second.
Three other South Dakota dams on the Missouri River -- the Oahe, Big Bend and Fort Randall -- have each been releasing water this spring, further necessitating the need for the highest ever rate of release from Gavins Point.