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Friday, June 3, 2011

Flooding Could Rival 1993 Missouri River Levels: Mid to Late June 2011


Flash Flood Warnings Issued For Parts Of Missouri


FRANKLIN COUNTY , MO (KTVI-FOX2Now.com)— A warning for Franklin County residents who live along the Missouri River to get prepared for possible flooding later this month. County Emergency Management Director Abraham Cook said, "Worried, yes because there's always a potential for a loss of life, property we never want to see that we are taking steps to educate people."

Water from dams and reservoirs up north will soon be released. Cook said, "It's something we definitely have to keep an eye on." The river level in Washington Missouri could rise to near the level of the Great Flood of '93. David Wells, a resident remembered that flood, "Water was everywhere that's all I can remember it was pretty bad you couldn't get down in here."

Officials are telling people to have a plan, a place to go to and insurance in order. The next flood could cause lot of problems. Connie Parmeley said, "I'm up on high because I already lost a house in the flood. So I'm up high...I've learned my lesson yeah very much so."

State Readies for Slow Disaster

Missouri News Horizon

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Joplin tornado struck in the blink of an eye. The state’s next natural disaster could take at least a couple of weeks.
The State Emergency Management Agency’s operations manager John Campbell says communities all up and down the Missouri River are getting ready for floods.
“We’ve got a number of counties that are making preparations, requesting sandbags, and additional people, and I know a lot of folks are leaning forward to do the best they can to be prepared,” said Campbell.
It could be up to two weeks before the extent of flooding will be known. And he says any rain between now and the opening of the flood gates on the upper Missouri on June 14 will effect how bad the flooding will be.
“If it falls at the wrong time in the wrong place, then it aggravates a flooding situation, taking it from what might be a minor flood, into a disastrous flood,” he said.
Water from record snow melt run-off and heavy spring rains in the upper Missouri River basin have the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicting some of the highest river levels ever along the lower river basin for Nebraska and Iowa, through Kansas and Missouri. The levels are expected to come up quickly once floodgates at the Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota are fully opened on June 14, causing water to rush into the lower Missouri River basin at a rate of 150,000 cubic feet per second.
And this will be no flash flood. The Corps of Engineers in a news release said it expects that flow to continue for several months, and for river levels to remain higher than normal even into next winter.
The corps and the National Weather Service have not been able to accurately predict flood levels due to the uncertainty of rain over the lower basin. On Wednesday, the corps released a flood forecast chart for the entire lower Missouri basin with best and worst case scenarios. The worst case scenarios include average rain totals from the last four summers, which have been higher than normal. The chart includes a river crest ranges from three to as much as seven or eight feet.
For instance, the river level at Jefferson City may top out at 27 feet, which would cause some flooding in low lying areas but would not top the city’s main levee. But under a rainy scenario, the river could top out at 35 feet, more than five feet above the levee top and damage could be severe and wide spread.
“We’re just trying to put out the word to emergency management people what to be prepared for,” said corps spokesperson Diana McCoy.
Campbell said requests for sand bags, pumps and manpower are already coming in to his office in Jefferson City. Last year, despite dire predictions, flood waters only reached as far as Glasgow on the Missouri. This time, Campbell said it looks like towns further down river will be in for flooding of some kind.

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