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      700 Acres Of Farmland Flooded
Missouri River Rises Beyond 31 Feet
Updated Friday, July 8, 2011 -- 1:17 p.m.

The levees near Sibley and Levasy in eastern Jackson County are continuing to hold back the Missouri River, despite water levels rising to beyond 31 feet. In a warning update issued Friday morning, the National Weather Service (NWS) anticipated "major flooding" in the Sibley and Levasy area as the river was expected to crest at around 31.2 feet Sunday, July 10, "then begin falling."

"Our levees are holding, for now," said Jackson County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Curry. "The projections, from earlier this week, that the Missouri River would fall six to 12 inches -- to back below 30 feet -- are out the window."

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.

The Missouri River rose to 31.1 feet near Sibley on Thursday. The NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service now shows the river hovering around the 31-foot mark throughout the weekend. It is expected to gradually drop to around 30 feet even early next week before starting to creep back up the morning of Wednesday, July 13.

Although the eastern Jackson County levees have not yet been breached, the Missouri River is still backing up into tributaries. The engorged Fire Prairie Creek has spilled over its banks, flooding 700 acres of farmland in Jackson County.

"Our biggest issue currently is the Fire Prairie Creek," said Curry. "The good news is so far we haven't had any homes or businesses flooded."

Roads Closed In Levasy

Barricades have been set up in Levasy to block traffic on both Stock Road and Ripperger Road. Sandbags have been in place for days around a church and the community center in Levasy. Additional sandbags have also been stacked along the railroad line that runs adjacent to the Missouri River as it winds through eastern Jackson County.

More Rain Than Expected

The NWS forecast calls for no rain in the Greater Kansas City area this weekend. Curry is closely monitoring weather conditions from Missouri to Montana.

"We've gotten more rain this week than the Weather Service expect -- all along the Missouri River," he said. "About 2½ inches of rain fell on Levasy on Thursday. There was heavy rain in Montana, too. We're just stuck in an unusually prolonged weather pattern with a lot of precipitation.

"That's keeping the river rising instead of falling."

Missouri River Timeline

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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).

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.

CONTINUE READING: Missouri River Timeline


Historical Perspective

Unlike in 2007 when this photo was taken in Levasy, the Missouri River so far this summer has not topped the levees in eastern Jackson County. However, unlike in 2007, the Missouri River is expected to remain high and pose a flood threat this entire summer.

Missouri River Record Crests
Near Sibley, Missouri

35.91 Feet    July 29, 1993
35.58 Feet    July 14, 1951
32.80 Feet    May 8, 2007
32.60 Feet    June 3, 1903
31.10 Feet    July 7, 2011

SOURCE: National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service


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