UPDATE: K-99 likely to remain closed until Friday morning at earliest; miniature train's track bed affected by flood

Numerous roads in Lyon County (pictured), Chase County and Greenwood County suffered heavy damage due to recent flooding. Officials in all three counties won't know the true damage extent until flooding finally recedes as soon as Saturday. Numerous roads in Lyon County (pictured), Chase County and Greenwood County suffered heavy damage due to recent flooding. Officials in all three counties won't know the true damage extent until flooding finally recedes as soon as Saturday. Jesse Dains

Conditions may be rough along county roads, but those roads are drying out and opening up across the KVOE listening area following massive amounts of rainfall over the past week.

That list currently does not include K-99 south of Emporia, which remains closed until further notice. Drivers will still need to use the Kansas Turnpike's floodgates near mile marker 120.3 as part of detours in place while K-99 is closed.

This means a second day of detours for drivers either coming to or going from Emporia. As was the case Wednesday, northbound drivers coming into Emporia will have to detour around the flooding by going west on Road 130, north on Road H and west again on Road 140 to connect with the Kansas Turnpike's floodgates. The Kansas Turnpike Authority says southbound drivers should use the gates at mile marker 122.5 before taking Road 140 east to F, then traveling south to Road 110 and east to K-99. KVOE News was originally told southbound traffic had to exit the Turnpike at milepost 120.3.

During KVOE's 7:05 am newscast Wednesday, Lyon County Sheriff Jeff Cope told drivers to be cautious on the detour routes.

The travel situation around Emporia is easing somewhat. Burlingame Road re-opened overnight after it was closed Tuesday night and all of Wednesday. However, Lyon County Engineer Chip Woods says this will be an expensive fix once all the roads dry out.

Woods says it could take until next spring to get everything fixed, and that's if we have no other widespread weather issues affecting the road network. The county has not determined whether it will reach out to the federal government for reimbursement assistance, but it will likely have to republish the Highway Department budget later this year as a result of the flooding.

For county roads, the situation is improving quickly -- at least when it comes to road openings. The latest list of closures is a lot shorter than it was 24 hours ago, and it continues to shorten as the day progresses:

*Road M from Roads 130-150
*Road 100 East of Road L
*Road G from Road160-170
*Horseshoe (Road G - G5 & 150-160)
*Road 160 from Road F-J
*Road 165 from Road H-J
*Road H from 160-165
*Road 150 from Road D-F
*Road 145 from Road E-H
*Road 140 F-L (K99)
*Road 155 West of K99
*Road 150 West of K99 to H
*Road 160 and Road N
*Road 150 from Road N-S
*Road P and Road 140
*Road P from Road 140 to 150
*Road 180 from Road S to T(bridge is washed out)

Cope urged all drivers to heed the barricades that are still in place.

Woods, meanwhile, urged patience as the repair process begins later this month.

In Chase County, access to Cedar Point and Saffordville is back to normal as roads leading to those towns have re-opened. Camp Wood Road between the camp and Elmdale and County Line Road along the Lyon-Chase county line are still closed. XX Road, one of the roads closed this week due to flooding, has re-opened but Chase County Dispatch made the point of saying that road has rough driving conditions.

Greenwood County is opening up a series of roads as well. However, access to Quincy is still extremely limited. At last word, the 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.

In Morris County, Dunlap Road on the west edge of Dunlap remains closed at last word. In Osage County, Maple Road out of Quenemo is also closed at last word.

Across the area, rivers are either cresting or have crested, and in some cases they are now back within their banks.

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

Emporia: Warning until Saturday evening
*Current stage: 24.96 feet
*Flood stage: 20 feet
*River crested at 25.8 feet Wednesday
*Below flood stage: Saturday morning

Water is up into Soden's Grove now, and it may be until the weekend or early next week before the impact on the All Veterans Memorial, David Traylor Zoo or Sertoma Club miniature train is fully known. Zoo director Lisa Keith says the bison exhibit has been partially flooded, so the bison has been moved to the holding area. Zoo Road has been barricaded and Soden's Park is closed until further notice.

There are some indications the Sertoma Club miniature train track's gravel bed may have suffered significant damage. The rough estimate is around 160 feet, or close to 10 percent of the gravel bed, may be affected or simply gone. Club member Ron Douglass tells KVOE News there does not appear to be any track damage and the train was moved to safety, so it is unaffected. Once club members can start repairs, they may have to use a skid loader to recover what gravel they can and they may have to install more drainage tubes to lessen the risk of flood-related damage.

Warnings at Plymouth and Cottonwood Falls have been lifted. The Cottonwood at Plymouth crested at 33.9 feet Tuesday and went below the 32-foot flood stage late Wednesday night. The Cottonwood at Cottonwood Falls crested just short of the 9-foot flood stage Wednesday.

The only river-based flood warning for the Neosho River is at Neosho Rapids.

Neosho Rapids: Warning until Friday night
*Current stage: 26.6 feet
*Flood stage: 22 feet
*Estimated crest: 27 feet Thursday. 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.
*Below flood stage: Saturday morning

At Prairie Street, the Neosho crested at 24.05 Wednesday, tying for the eighth-highest crest on record after flooding in May 1995. It went below flood stage early Thursday. At Americus, the river crested at 27.2 feet early Wednesday and went back below flood stage Wednesday night.

Warnings for the Marais des Cygnes near Reading and Quenemo, as well as the Salt Creek near Lyndon, were canceled earlier this week. Chase County, meanwhile, remains in a county-wide flood warning until 10:30 am.

Greenwood County receiving state disaster assistance

In separate but related news, Greenwood County will receive help from the state as it recovers from recent flooding.

Gov. Jeff Colyer issued a State of Disaster Emergency for Greenwood and several other counties in southeast Kansas. This means state resources and manpower are now authorized to help local governments as they conduct response and recovery operations.

As of last word, no other area counties have asked for state help. The Adjutant General's Office says other counties may be added if those requests come in.

Related:  Wednesday's KVOE News flood coverage
Related: Tuesday's KVOE News flood coverage
Related: Monday's KVOE News flood coverage

Photos by Chuck Samples/KVOE News

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Last modified on Thursday, 11 October 2018 21:16

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