Rain Could Cause Second Crest On Missouri

Last week, the Kansas City Engineer District said it expected the Missouri River to crest at Jefferson City, Mo., on March 28, with the next crest in St. Charles, Mo., the following day. A district spokesperson said that the forecasted rain from the weekend could potentially push the water level back up in some areas, leading to a second crest.

On March 27, the Omaha Engineer District said that it is continuing efforts to perform damage assessments as water recedes and access to the levee system becomes available. The Omaha District said it is also conducting underwater surveys of scour holes along the Missouri and Platte rivers, as well as collecting aerial imagery which will support the recovery effort.

More than 350 miles of levees on the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers and tributaries have experienced significant flood damage. Due to the magnitude of damage along these levees, the Corps said that repair of the levee system efforts will take an extended period of time to execute.

The majority of the levee system south of Omaha remains compromised and vulnerable due to record inflows surpassing their designed protection levels. There were 54 confirmed full or partial breaches and overtopppings.

In Sioux Fall and Dell Rapids, S.D., the Corps is providing assistance for high flow and snow melt along the Big Sioux and Little Sioux rivers. In Ashland, Neb., a team is assisting with breach closures on the Clear Creek levee. Technical assistance is being given to Hamburg, Iowa, for the Ditch Six levee. There are also teams providing both direct and technical assistance to Watertown, S.D., and Pacific Junction, Iowa. Additionally, the Corps said that there are teams offering technical assistance to Council Bluff, Iowa, Saunders County, Neb., and Dodge County, Neb.

A risk of significant flooding continues due to the high plains snowpack in North and South Dakota, especially across eastern South Dakota and the unregulated James and Big Sioux River basins.

Looking Ahead

This week’s warm temperatures will accelerate snowmelt across the Dakotas and increase flows in area streams and rivers, which are already flowing high with numerous river gages above flood stage.  A storm system over the Rocky Mountains and central plains over the weekend could cause a second crest in some areas. Some of the precipitation is forecasted to fall as snow across the western basin with the majority of the precipitation across the eastern basin falling as rain.

The current forecasted track of this system projects the heaviest precipitation to fall south of the snowpack areas. The lower basin may be snow free, however high soil moisture across this area would suggest above average runoff from any precipitation, according to the Corps, who will continue to monitor closely.

The Omaha District said that it has distributed approximately 228,000 sandbags, 2,020 super sandbags, 16,500 feet of flood barriers, six pumps and 21 poly rolls. The Kansas City District Public Affairs Office said that as of last week, approximately  600,000 sandbags have been used on the Missouri River throughout Kansas and Missouri.

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