Corps of Engineers Expects Mo. River to Flood Across State
KANSAS CITY - Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City district told KOMU News Saturday that areas along the Missouri River not protected by levee systems will flood. On Friday, Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, S.D. began releasing water from the Mo. River at unprecedented levels. The record releases are being made in order to pass flood waters brought on by this year's massive amounts of snow and ice melt in the Dakotas, Montana and other nearby states. Right now, communities nearest to the dam include Sioux City, Iowa, where significant flooding has caused homes and businesses to evacuate.
The Gavins Point Dam releases have about a 4-7 day-lag before reaching central Missouri, Corps Engineers said. The Mo. River near Glasgow is expected to rise about 7-12 feet above flood stage.
"Glasgow could get up to 37 feet of water," said Diana McCoy, public affairs specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers in Kansas City. "But, if it rains, it could go higher than 37 feet." Flood stage in Glasgow is 25 feet, and officials with the Army Corps of Engineers say the levee systems along the Mo. River near Glasgow should handle up to about 12 feet of water.
Officials say if parts of Missouri experience significant rainfall this year, the river could rise higher than what levees can hold causing significant flooding to occur. Corps Engineers say they have already begun to offer support to parts of the state including Holt county. Engineers are issuing sandbags to communities in northwest Missouri. But, no counties locally have requested flooding aid yet.
The Army Corps of Engineers says it's closely monitoring the historical Missouri River levels. Some teams are working 12 hour days. At this point, Corps engineers say they cannot predict more than five days in advance on how Mother Nature will influence the river water levels. By mid-June, officials have planned a maximum release of 150,000 kcfs at Gavins Point. At that rate, the river will be higher than normal and flooding will remain an issue for nearly two months. (Photo courtesy of KSCJ Radio in Sioux City, Iowa)