UPDATE: Most area rivers in flood, but projected crests now lower than first thought

By Chuck Samples and Brandon Peoples October 09, 2018 1877
A logjam began developing near the Cottonwood River bridge at Soden's Grove on Monday as heavy rain led to rising rivers. The Cottonwood and other area rivers are officially in flood. A logjam began developing near the Cottonwood River bridge at Soden's Grove on Monday as heavy rain led to rising rivers. The Cottonwood and other area rivers are officially in flood. Dean Binns

There is good news and not-so-good news as flooding continues across the KVOE listening area.

The good news: projected river crest levels are down from prior forecasts, meaning flooding may not be as severe as first feared and near-record levels at two area gauges should not be threatened.

The not-so-good news: flooding continues at minor to moderate levels area wide, the list of road closures continues to expand and access to several area towns has been limited by flooding.

Access to Dunlap's west edge is blocked with that road closed by flooding and access to Cedar Point is blocked on the south edge of town at B Road. Saffordville, meanwhile, has two of its three entrances closed with ZZ Road flooded. And there is only one way in or out of Quincy in eastern Greenwood County. Drivers have to take US 54 east into Woodson County, go north on Apache Road to 110th Road -- also known in Greenwood County as 190th Road -- and go west into town.

The KVOE studios are now past 10 inches of rainfall since last Wednesday after 3.2 inches of rain Monday and over 2 inches of rain Tuesday. 

Lyon County officials also are encouraging residents to gauge the severity of road flooding before calling authorities.

Officials have been alerted to most of the roads that have water over them, and with the number of roads affected by flooding, they say residents should call if they see a heavy water flow or apparent danger to life and property.

This comes as the long list of road closures gets longer. In fact according to Lyon County Engineer Chip Woods, about a fourth of all county roads are now under water. While not all roads are barricaded, many of them are and Woods says people should heed the warning.

The phrase "turn around, don't drown" is often repeated when it comes to flooded roadways. In addition to being a safety issue, Woods says there are also significant penalties for motorists who go around a barricade.

On Monday, the National Weather Service issued a host of river-based flood warnings as rivers and creeks began rising.

The Cottonwood River is now in a flood warning from Emporia west to Cottonwood Falls.

Emporia: Warning until further notice
*Current stage: 24.15 feet
*Flood stage: 20 feet
*Estimated crest: 24.5 feet Wednesday afternoon, revised downward from prior forecast of 25.8 feet Wednesday morning. Kansas Highway 99’s north bank floods at 25.5 feet, closing the highway in both directions. South bank floods at 24 feet.

Videos by Brandon Peoples/KVOE News


Plymouth: Warning from Tuesday night until Friday
*Current stage: 33.6 feet
*Flood stage: 32 feet
*Estimated crest: 35 feet Wednesday afternoon, revised downward from prior forecast of 36.6 feet Wednesday morning. Road A is inundated at the gauge site with crop and field flooding. At 37 feet, water may get to 4 feet above ground floors of buildings as far away as 2.25 miles from the gauge site. 

Cottonwood Falls: Warning from Tuesday night until Friday
*Current stage: 8.4 feet
*Flood stage: 9 feet
*Above flood stage: Tuesday night
*Estimated crest: 9.2 feet Wednesday, revised downward from prior forecast of 10.8 feet Wednesday morning. Flooding of low-lying cropland starts at 9 feet. 

The Neosho River is now in a warning from Americus to Neosho Rapids.

Americus: Warning from Tuesday night to Thursday morning
*Current stage: 26.2 feet
*Flood stage: 26 feet
*Estimated crest: 27.5 feet Wednesday afternoon, revised down from prior forecast of 28.2 feet Wednesday morning. At 27 feet, Americus Road floods two miles south of Americus. The early projection of 28.2 feet would have been the second-highest crest on record, following a 28.3-foot crest on June 27, 1969. The current forecast, meanwhile, would be the ninth-highest on record for the gauge if the forecast holds.

3 miles northwest of Emporia (Prairie Street north of 30th): Warning from Tuesday morning to Thursday evening
*Current stage: 22.6 feet
*Flood stage: 19 feet
*Estimated crest: 23 feet Wednesday, revised down from prior forecast of 24.6 feet Wednesday morning. At 19.5 feet, Prairie Street floods north of the Neosho River bridge.

Neosho Rapids: Warning from Tuesday afternoon until further notice
*Current stage: 24.8 feet
*Flood stage: 22 feet
*Estimated crest: 27.5 feet Wednesday, revised down from prior forecast of 28.3 feet Wednesday evening. Neosho covers large areas over both banks at 26 feet and overtops Road 145 on the west side of the Neosho Rapids river bridge at 23 feet.

Meanwhile, the Marais des Cygnes now has two flood warnings ongoing.

Marais des Cygnes near Reading: Warning from Tuesday morning to Wednesday evening
*Current stage: 22.4 feet
*Flood stage: 19 feet
*River crested Tuesday at 23.2 feet. Road Y-5 floods near the gauge at 21 feet.

Marais des Cygnes near Quenemo: Warning until Thursday afternoon
*Current stage: 21.1 feet
*Flood stage: 17 feet
*Estimated crest: Current stage level. Prior forecast was for cresting at 21.1 feet Wednesday morning. This is a secondary crest after the river crested Monday. Lowland areas flood along the river from 17-24 feet.

The Salt Creek near Lyndon has been removed from its flood warning after cresting about 1.7 feet below flood stage Tuesday.


Lakes are also filling fast -- or are now overfull -- after the recent rainfall. The Council Grove Lake level has climbed over seven feet since Saturday morning and is near action stage, or where the water goes slightly out of its banks. Lake Kahola, meanwhile, has gone from better than five feet below normal to overfull. John Redmond Reservoir has added seven feet since Saturday, while Melvern Lake has added over four feet.

County-wide flood warnings

Chase and Greenwood counties are now in county-wide flood warnings until 10:30 am Wednesday. The Weather Service says thunderstorms will produce heavy rain, causing floods or aggravating and flooding currently underway.

Flood watches

Lyon and all surrounding counties remain in a flood watch until 7 am Wednesday.


Several roads and intersections have now been closed.

Lyon County:

*Kansas Highway 99 north of Emporia from Interstate 35 to Road 240. K-99 just south of Emporia is currently open
*Road 150 from D to E, at P and just west of Kansas Highway 99
*Road 155 just west of Kansas Highway 99
*Road 170 and G
*Road 240 from D to E
*2400 block J
*Road 200 and J
*Road 190 and M
*900 block Road 140
*500, 600 and 700 blocks Road 145
*1300 block Road G
*Road 140 at E, F and just west of K-99
*700 block Road 160
*Road 160 and N
*Roads A, B-2, B-5 and C at US Highway 50. Highway remains open
*Burlingame Road between 275 and 280
*Road M from 150-160
*Road 100 East of L
*Road170 from F-G
*Road G from 160-170
*The horseshoe involving G, G-5, 150 and 160
*Road 160 from F-J
*Road 165 from H-J
*Road H from 160-165
*Road 150 from D-F
*Road 145 from E-H
*Road 140 from F to K-99
*Road 155 west of K-99
*Road 150 west of K-99 to H
*Road 150 from N-S
*Road 215 from F5-J
*Road J from 1900-215
*Road 210 from K-N
*Road 195 from L5-M
*Roads 190 and 200 from L-L5
*Road C from 220-240
*Road 210 west of Americus Road
*Road U from 70-75
*Road 75 from V-W
*Road 67 from W-X
*Road Y from 70-80
*Road 180 from Burlingame Road to P
*Road G from 130-140
*Road F north of 180

Chase County

*Norton Creek Road
*210 Road to Old Highway 50 (W and U Roads)
*County Line Road A north and south entrances at Lyon County line
*Saffordville north and south entrances (ZZ Road). This closes two of the three entrances to Saffordville
*W Road at Glanville Turnpike
*UP Road from 200-210
*210 Road and UW west
*B Road immediately south of Cedar Point. This closes one of four access roads to the town

Greenwood County 

Most low-water crossings are impassable due to heavy rain since last Wednesday, and 100th Road between U and V near Climax is currently closed.


*GG 50 Road north of US 54
*60th Road ½ mile east of K-99
*90th Road ½ mile east of K-99
*Most roads leading to Quincy are closed. Only access is to take US 54 east into Woodson County, go north on Apache Road to 110th Road (Greenwood County 190th Road) and go west into town

Madison-Hamilton area

*380-V (Blakley)
*330-BB50 (Shell Rock)
*360-P (Browning)
*V-310 (Curry)
*300-W (Beeman - 2 bridges)
*280th 1/4 mile E of Hwy 99
*320th -T

Eureka area

*P-130 (State Street)
*150-N (7th Street)
*U-160 (Cheesebuge)
*R50-160 (Richardson)
*270-H (Eldon)
*G-180 (Henderson)

Morris County

*Dunlap Road at Dunlap. This closes the west entrance to Dunlap.

Osage County

*Maple Street east of Quenemo


Schedule adjustments

*Emporia Recreation Commission flag football at DeBauge Family Sports Complex postponed Tuesday until further notice. The complex will not be open for youth soccer practice.
*Food pantry at Americus United Methodist Church is postponed Tuesday night but will open Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. 
*USD 251 North Lyon County will start school one hour late Wednesday.
*Dine United at Olpe Chicken House has been moved to Thursday, November 1st due to the flooding and road closures.

Area rain totals

*Emporia Municipal Airport: 1.47 inches Tuesday
*Antler Ridge: 4.2 inches from 6 am Monday to 6 am Tuesday
*18th and Briarcliff: 7.3 inches from noon Monday to 7:30 am Tuesday
*3.5 miles west of Emporia Golf Course: 2 inches overnight. 9 inches since last Wednesday
*Americus: 5.5 inches Tuesday. 13 inches since last Wednesday
*Americus Road and Road 200: 16 inches since last Wednesday
*Gridley: 2 inches Monday
*11 miles south of Hartford: 2.1 inches Tuesday
*Lake Kahola: 3.1 inches Tuesday
*Olpe: 2.2 inches Monday

We'll keep you posted on KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media. If you have rain totals or schedule adjustments, call KVOE at 342-1400.

Related: Flood warnings issued with rivers rising areawide

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Last modified on Tuesday, 09 October 2018 19:54

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