Flood waters from the Missouri River could remain in Wyandotte County fields a little longer, as water releases have been stepped up from reservoirs upstream and rain is in the forecast for Kansas City and the river basin area.
With melted snow upstream entering the Missouri River basin area, the reservoirs upstream will be releasing more water into the river, according to Corps of Engineers officials.
The Corps of Engineers is stepping up water releases from the Gavins Point dam in South Dakota to 27,000 cubic feet per second today, and 30,000 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, according to officials at a news conference today. This plan was changed from Sunday’s announcement.
There is currently major flooding on the James River upstream in the Dakotas, and water from the James and the Big Sioux rivers have an effect on the Missouri River.
A strong storm system is currently in the weather forecast from Thursday through Sunday, according to a National Weather Service forecaster.
About 1.5 inches of rain is expected to fall across northeast Kansas and northern Missouri, as well as some additional rainfall to the north.
If the rain falls as expected, some cities could receive 1.5 to 3 feet rises in the river, and the Missouri River at St. Joseph, Missouri, could rise 5 feet on Monday, according to the forecaster.
Thursday’s projected rain amounts will not show up in the National Weather Service river level forecasts until Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service forecaster, as there are only two days of anticipated precipitation included in each river level forecast. By Friday evening, the entire storm should be included in the river level forecasts, he said.
By the weekend, Corps officials and forecasters believe that the rivers will be substantially lower than they crested this past weekend. When the rivers rise next Monday, the main effect is that water will be on the levees for a longer time, according to Corps officials. With the longer time, the levees could become more susceptible to issues such as seepage or sand boils, according to officials.
To check on roads affected by flooding, visit KanDrive.org at http://www.kandrive.org/kandrive/roads/#construction/K-5/-96.0040/38.7201/7.
The Kansas City, Kansas, police shooting range on the Missouri River is now covered with water, and police are waiting to see when it will reopen again, according to a police department spokesman.
According to a news release from the police department, operations at the range have been postponed until the flood water recedes.
The road to the range became impassable on Sunday, March 17, according to the news release.
Officers were transported to the range with help from the Unified Government to begin preparing for the rising water. Weapons and ammunition were stored in a secure vault on high ground. Other valuable equipment was moved to higher ground and the facility was secured, according to the news release.
The range is used mostly for firearms training and qualification. Training dates and qualification schedules have been postponed until the range goes back into operation, according to the news release.
The extent of the flood damage will be unknown until the flood water recedes, the news release stated.
As Missouri River water levels are declining on Sunday in Wyandotte County, water is expected to remain for some time in fields at Wolcott and at other locations on the river in Wyandotte County.
Local officials said on Saturday that flood water could remain in the fields for perhaps a week or two, depending on how much more water is released into the Missouri River and also on how much it rains upstream.
Local officials on Saturday said they were not aware of any residences here affected by the flood; some Wolcott businesses were flooded, and Wolcott Drive was closed to traffic.
Local officials said flooding also was reported at Nearman Creek in Kansas City, Kansas. There also was high water at the Lewis and Clark statue in Kaw Point Park on Fairfax Trafficway in Kansas City, Kansas.
The Missouri River at Wolcott in Wyandotte County was still in the moderate stage on Sunday, and hydrology charts predicted it would go into minor flood stage on Tuesday and out of flood stage on Wednesday night. The river level was 34.69 feet on Sunday afternoon at this location.
Since that reading on Sunday afternoon, this river level increased to 34.76 feet at 7:45 p.m. Sunday.
Corps of Engineers officials today said in a news conference that they plan to hold water releases at Gavins Point dam in South Dakota at the present 24,000 cubic feet per second as long as conditions allow. Corps officials said today that they plan to increase the Gavins Point water releases to 30,000 cfs late next week.
Fort Randall, South Dakota, dam water releases will be 8,000 cfs today and Monday, according to Corps officials, which was down from the 12,000 cfs that had been announced on Saturday.
In a news release tonight, the Corps announced a change. It stated that it will increase releases from Gavins Point dam to 27,000 cfs on Monday, March 25, from the current 24,000 cfs.
The water releases may change according to water coming into the system upstream from snow melting and also from rain, according to officials.
A National Weather Service forecaster said there is still major flooding in the St. Joseph, Missouri, to Leavenworth, Kansas, area. The crest moved through the Kansas City area around 1 a.m. Sunday, is currently at Napoleon, Missouri, and is expected to be in Jefferson City, Missouri, on Tuesday and to the mouth of the river on Wednesday or Thursday.
There is flooding currently on the Big Sioux and James rivers that flow into the basin, with melting snow. This water could result in a one-foot rise on the Missouri River, perhaps in another week, according to the weather service forecaster.
There also is rain in the forecast over the basin area. Rain is possible in Kansas City from Wednesday night through Saturday, according to the weather forecast.
To check on roads affected by flooding, visit http://www.kandrive.org/kandrive/roads/#construction/K-5/-96.0040/38.7201/7.