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      Fire Prairie Creek Has Flooded Farmland
Missouri River Expected To
Drop Slowly Through July 10

Updated Wednesday, July 6, 2011 -- 11:12 a.m.

More information about the Missouri River flooding situation can be found on the Missouri State Emergency Management Team website at sema.dps.mo.gov.
CLICK HERE to view a map from the Missouri Department of Transportation indicating road closings in the state.

Despite rising to 30.8 feet near Sibley and Levasy on Saturday, July 2, the Missouri River did not top the primary levees in eastern Jackson County this past weekend. The water level had dipped to 30.15 feet as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, but had crept up to 30.55 feet at 7:27 a.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The NWS now projects that the river will edge slightly higher -- to 30.6 feet early Wednesday afternoon -- before dropping slowly to around 30.0 feet Sunday, July 10. On Tuesday, the NWS had anticipated the river dropping to "near 29.5 by Sunday."

"The good news is our levees are holding," said Jackson County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Curry. "At 30 feet, the water's right at the top of our levees, though. It's a matter of inches."

The NWS forecast for this week calls for a 40-percent chance of thunderstorms in the Greater Kansas City area on Wednesday and Thursday. None of the potential rainfall this week, either locally or up river, is expected to be significant enough to impact Missouri River water levels.

Tributaries Backing Up

While the levees have, thus far, held back the Missouri River in eastern Jackson County, there is no way of preventing water from pouring into the river's many tributaries. The Fire Prairie Creek has flooded several acres of farmland near Levasy.

"No houses have been impacted by that flooding," Curry noted. "If the Missouri River does go down six to 12 inches that should stop the back-up into the Fire Prairie Creek."

Highest Water Level Since Flooding In 2007

Although the river is expected to dip a few inches this week, Curry remains concerned that the levees are being asked to continue holding back high water over a prolonged period of time.

"This is a day-to-day situation," he said. "The river's going to be high all summer."

At 30.8 feet, the Missouri River was the highest it has been near Sibley since reaching 32.8 feet and causing flooding in May 2007. The highest recorded crest at Sibley is 35.91 feet during the infamous 1993 flood.

Record Release Rate Continues

The United States Army Corps of Engineers is continuing to release water from the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota, at the historically high rate of 160,000 cubic feet per second. The record water release is being done to relieve pressure on six reservoirs from Montana through South Dakota. Those reservoirs began to fill due to unusually high run-off from snow melting in the Rocky Mountains coupled with record rain amounts this spring in the Dakotas.

The combined total run-off for May and June fell just short of the normal run-off expected for an entire year, according to the Corps of Engineers. Gavins Point is the last of four South Dakota dams on the Missouri River; all four are releasing water.

Missouri River Timeline

Flooded FieldFriday, July 1, 2011
The Missouri River was expected to be on the verge of topping the primary levees in eastern Jackson County as water levels continued to rise heading into the Independence Day weekend. The National Weather Service (NWS) projected that the river would crest near Sibley and Levasy at 30.4 feet early Saturday, July 2, bringing the water level up to -- if not over -- the brim of the 30-foot levees.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
A levee breach near Atchison, Kansas was suspected of causing inaccurate measurements in gages at Atchison and Leavenworth, Kansas. Once more data could be reviewed, the National Weather Service anticipated that river-level projections for the Missouri River and the Kansas River would be revised "upward."   

Monday, June 27, 2011
Thunderstorms that swept through the area Sunday night into Monday morning (June 26-27) had little impact on the Missouri River as it flows through eastern Jackson County. At 7:02 Monday morning, the water level near the Sibley and Levasy levees was at 26.8 feet, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Friday, June 24, 2011
The National Weather Service (NWS) did not anticipate the Missouri River's water level near Levasy and Sibley to rise Saturday, June 25. Due to levee breaches Thursday, June 23 in two northwest Missouri counties, river levels fell between Brownville, Nebraska and St. Joseph, Missouri, prompting the NWS to reduce its previous river level projections for June 25. However, the NWS noted any relief down stream from Atchison and Holt counties would only be temporary.

Monday, June 20, 2011
Jackson County officials have been anxiously monitoring conditions along the swollen Missouri River for weeks. Volunteers filled 6,000 sandbags in preparation for potential flooding. On the morning of June 20, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flood warning that included parts of Jackson County (near Sibley), as well as parts of Platte and Clay counties.






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