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      Rain Causes More Fire Prairie Creek Flooding
National Weather Service Projects River 
Will Remain 'Steady' Near 30.3 Feet

Updated Wednesday, July 13, 2011 -- 3:27 p.m.

Scenes Of The Flooding Near Levasy

Missouri River




Two inches of rain fell in and around Levasy on Tuesday night, causing increased flooding in the area from the Fire Prairie Creek. The creek has now swamped hundreds of acres of farmland, but the flood waters are not yet threatening any homes or commercial buildings.

Flooding in eastern Jackson County from the creek won't let up until the Missouri River drops substantially -- to about 28 feet -- and stops backing up into the tributary.

The Missouri River has dropped about 5 inches in 48 hours, according to the latest calculations from the National Weather Service (NWS) this morning. At 6:54 a.m. today, the river level near Sibley and Levasy was at 30.46 feet -- down from 30.88 feet at 6:57 a.m. Monday, July 11.

Jackson County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Curry stressed that the gauges near Napoleon, located in Lafayette County about four miles east of Levasy, tend to provide more accurate readings than those at Sibley. The Napoleon gauges, he said, show the river having dropped only an inch since Monday.

The latest NWS flood warning calls for the Missouri River to be "steady near 30.3 feet" at Sibley through the end of the week. NWS projections on Monday had called for the river to fall slowly to around 30 feet even.

"Although the rain has caused more flooding from Fire Prairie Creek, it hasn't caused the Missouri River to rise," said Curry. "The river is down -- not much, but a little. A week ago, the river rose past 31 feet, so holding 'steady' at around 30.3 feet would be an improvement."

Stock Road, north of Levasy, is closed because, as Jackson County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Curry has pointed out, it now runs into a lake of flood water.


Roads Closed

Stock Road and Ripperger Road north of Levasy remain barricaded. "If you go around the barricades, you're going to drive into a lake," warned Curry.

The NWS emphasizes in its flood warnings, "Do not drive through flowing water. Nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle related. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Two feet of water will carry most vehicles away." 

Putting Release Rate In Perspective

The most recent figures from the Army Corps of Engineers indicate the Missouri River seems to be holding steady from Montana, through the Dakotas, into Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. Nearly all of the Corps' gauges along the river's path showed drops of around one-tenth or two-tenths of an inch in water levels from Tuesday into today -- with one exception. The reservoir at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota was up two-tenths of an inch as the release of water from the dam continues at the record rate of 160,000 cubic feet per second.

At that rate, the Gavins Point Dam is pouring out enough water to fill about 72 million one-gallon jugs every minute.

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


Monday, July 11, 2011
The Missouri River dipped back below 31 feet as the National Weather Service predicted a slow drop throughout the week to around 30 feet even. Jackson County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Curry remains concerned about levees breaching as they hold back the high water.

Friday, July 8, 2011
The levees near Sibley and Levasy in eastern Jackson County continued 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."

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).

Friday, 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.

Flooded FieldTuesday, 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


The United States Army Corps of Engineers recommends this booklet, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), to learn more about levees and how to prepare for flood threats. CLICK HERE to download the 17-page "So You Live Behind A Levee" guide.


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