Archive for Monday, May 7, 2007

Flood warning issued; North Lawrence watched closely by officials

Rain collapses health center roof in Jefferson County; Kansas River to crest above flood stage

Rescue teams from Douglas County and Osage County help Gail Jackson and her dog "Rocket" into a rescue boat at the FOB range near Lone Star Lake.  Rising water stranded six women and five dogs that were part of a Boxer rescue program which used the site as a retreat over the weekend.

Rescue teams from Douglas County and Osage County help Gail Jackson and her dog "Rocket" into a rescue boat at the FOB range near Lone Star Lake. Rising water stranded six women and five dogs that were part of a Boxer rescue program which used the site as a retreat over the weekend.

May 7, 2007, 9:40 a.m. Updated May 7, 2007, 1:10 p.m.

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 The Kansas River is expect to crest above flood stage on Tuesday. This image from a 6News Web cam on Monday morning shows that river levels are already exceeding their normal stage.

The Kansas River is expect to crest above flood stage on Tuesday. This image from a 6News Web cam on Monday morning shows that river levels are already exceeding their normal stage.

A flood warning is in effect for Douglas, Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties through 12:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. Light to moderate rainfall is expected through the day allowing stream and river levels to rise. Water could spill over roads and into low-lying areas.

Just before 1 p.m., the warning was extended to 3:45 p.m., and included Franklin, Osage and Jefferson counties.

Continuing rains were expected to push the Kansas River above flood stage later in the week, Douglas County emergency officials said Monday morning.

Bob Newton, a spokesman for Douglas County Emergency Management, said in an e-mail to news organizations that the river is expected to crest at 19 feet 3 inches on Tuesday - flood stage is at 18 feet.

Dena Mezger, assistant public works director for the city, said that crews were closely monitoring the rising river.

The 13-mile Kansas River and Mud Creek levee system - which protects North Lawrence from flooding - contains 25 tubes that must be manually opened and closed during storms. The tubes, when open, allow stormwater to flow out of North Lawrence into the river. But if they are left open too long and the river rises too high, the tubes provide a way for Kansas River water to rush into North Lawrence.

Mezger said crews were carefully watching the river to determine when to close the tubes.

"They're really staying on top of it," Mezger said.

She said crews were optimistic that North Lawrence wouldn't experience significant flooding as a result of the recent storms.

"So far, we feel pretty good that it is not going to be a huge impact," Mezger said. "We're hoping that the worst of it has already passed."

North of Lawrence, in Jefferson County, the deluge caused flooding problems and a porch-roof collapse.

Heavy rain caused the roof of a smoking area porch to collapse at Valley Health Care Center in Valley Falls shortly after 6 a.m., according to the city fire department. Five people were taken to a hospital. Other residents were evacuated to the Delaware Township Hall.

Also in Jefferson County, Muddy Creek near Grantville was out of its banks, causing U.S. Highway 24 to be closed in both directions.

Three residents in the Grantville area voluntarily evacuated themselves to higher ground because of the threat of flood waters, said Doug Schmitt, Jefferson County Emergency Management director. A resident of a third home was evacuated with an air boat but it wasn't a life-threatening situation, Schmitt said.

At least two water rescues were taking place this morning in Douglas County. And Newton said flood concerns had closed the following roads and areas:

¢ Burcham Park, south side of Kansas River.

¢ 700 block of East 661 Diagonal Road, under four to five feet of water.

¢ 1624 North 200 Road, under 10 inches of water.

¢ East 1575 and North 220 roads, under about a foot of water.

¢ 11th Street and Haskell Avenue.

¢ 200 and 300 blocks of North Street.

¢ 1600 block of North 1500 Road.

¢ Third and Michigan streets.

More news as it develops.

Comments

FatTony 8 years, 2 months ago

Better hurry up and build more boathouses.

Sigmund 8 years, 2 months ago

It seems like North Lawrence is doing pretty well considering all the rain....

Centrist 8 years, 2 months ago

" Heavy rain caused the roof of a smoking area porch to collapse at Valley Health Care Center in Valley Falls "

Get the message people - don't smoke! :)

smartmomma 8 years, 2 months ago

Gee I wish they would label the pictures...which flooded road is this that they have posted on the home page??

countrygirl 8 years, 2 months ago

I was just thinking the same thing smartmomma. Might be nice to know where it is so that area can be avoided.

Nikki May 8 years, 2 months ago

I was on 3rd and Michigan around 9am and it was wet, but not flooded. 11th and Haskell, I went around, so no idea how that one was. There were signs there telling of high water.

irnmadn88 8 years, 2 months ago

Hover your mouse over the pic and a pop box will tell you US 56 west of Lyons....

Centrist 8 years, 2 months ago

11th & Haskell wasn't too bad at 8am. I think it may have been worse earlier, or overnight.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 2 months ago

same article, some of the same posts??? error.

Centrist 8 years, 2 months ago

Dadaism will take care of the water ...

Sigmund 8 years, 2 months ago

It would be nice if we had a map of Lawrence with the flooded areas highlighted.

Brenda Bohannan 8 years, 2 months ago

IT IS CONCERNING KNOWING THAT THE BRIDGE OVER THE KS RIVER @LECOMPTON IS ALREADY CLOSED AND OUR SCHOOLS ARE IN PERRY WHICH IS ON A FLOOD PLAIN. NOW 24 HWY IS CLOSED AT GRANTVILLE AND THIS AM PARTS OF 24 HWY BETWEEN PERRY AND LAWRENCE HAD WATER OVER IT. THE RIVER AT LECOMPTON IS ALREADY 3FT OVER FLOOD LEVELS BUT OUR SCHOOL OFFICIALS DID NOTHING ABOUT OUR KIDS SAFETY AND HOW MUCH TIME IT WOULD TAKE TO GET THE KIDS HOME OR HOW QUICKLY THEY MIGHT HAVE TO EVACUATE THE SCHOOLS. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE MORE INFORMATION ON THE ROADS TO OUR SCHOOLS.

Centrist 8 years, 2 months ago

True, but as a parent, you should find out for yourself as well.

acg 8 years, 2 months ago

I take 24 highway to work each day from where we live at Lake Dabinawa (which is about to crest its banks as well). I couldn't believe the flooding near Grantville at Muddy Creek. I just barely got thru this morning, but the cops were already there getting ready to close roads. Those fields all looked like lakes. Scary stuff!

Brenda Bohannan 8 years, 2 months ago

24 HWY IN GRANTVILLE JUST CLOSED AND THEY HAD TO EVACUATE THE PRESCHOOL IN GRANTVILLE. I AM JUST UPSET THAT NOW OUR STUDENTS THAT LIVE SOUTH OF THE RIVER ARE NOW DOWN TO ONE WAY HOME AFTER SCHOOL.

BikerGrandma 8 years, 2 months ago

goodboh - the school officials were thinking about our children. The preschool in Grantville wasn't evacuated. The decision was made to not hold classes there before the children were picked up - a precautionary measure. The superintendent and transportation director were both out driving highway 24 to make sure that it was passable and would be at the end of the day. The district is monitoring the road conditions closely. The water over 24 highway between Lawrence and Perry was not at a dangerous level - it was drivable and has been worse in the past. The county has two trucks staged at the areas that flood to monitor it. As always, it is a parents right to keep their children home if they think the conditions are dangerous.

concernedparent 8 years, 2 months ago

goodboh, I think your info is false. My child goes to that preschool and they called at 7am to tell us that there would be no morning or afternoon preschool today.

Brenda Bohannan 8 years, 2 months ago

I APOLOGIZE IF THE INFO I WAS GIVEN WAS WRONG BUT I DID SEE THE PRESCHOOL VAN GO BY WITH STUDENTS IN IT AROUND 10AM.

KsTwister 8 years, 2 months ago

Guess its time to move the Levy inspections ahead of a library (and aren't you glad it not by the river right now)? Roundabouts in a canoe could be fun.

gr 8 years, 2 months ago

" " Heavy rain caused the roof of a smoking area porch to collapse at Valley Health Care Center in Valley Falls "

Get the message people - don't smoke! :) "

Let me give 'er a whirl....

Smokers aren't really cared for - that's why they have shabby shelters. They are being discriminated against. Maybe they should launch efforts to get more equal rights than everyone else.

-or-

Smokers have been shafted and they want to come back into the mainstream.

-or-

This was an ACT OF GOD! Repent now....before the river jumps out of it's banks and swallows all the smokers.

-or-

This was a conspiracy by anti-smoking builders trying to do smokers in.

Doug Fisher 8 years, 2 months ago

well hopefully this year won't be nothing like the flood of 51"

leadrain 8 years, 2 months ago

Water, Water Everywhere, and no where to fish. except my own backyard.

jamoca 8 years, 2 months ago

Could someone in the Journal World please define for the rest of us what is the reference being used to define "flood stage"? Is it the bridge, another structure, a marker on the levee...? Also, how does is compare to the top elevation of the levees?

Centrist 8 years, 2 months ago

gr ... I especially got a kick out of the fact that a "Health" Center has a "smoking" area ;)

crazyleaflady 8 years, 2 months ago

Any concerns about nitrates in the water/blue baby alerts? There is some serious ag runoff churning through the Kaw right now.

e.g., http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Publications/pic14/pic14_1.html Kansas Geological Survey "Ground water is the major source of drinking water for 70% of Kansas residents. In rural areas, 85% of the population relies on ground water. Therefore, contaminants that may cause health problems, such as nitrate, are of significant concern. For owners of private wells, the issue of ground-water contamination is particularly serious. Most private domestic supplies are neither tested nor treated on a routine basis.

Nitrate is the most common inorganic contaminant in Kansas ground water. Previous studies have found that about 30% of domestic wells in Kansas have nitrate levels greater than the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for public drinking water (Steichen et al., 1988; Spalding and Exner, 1993; Townsend and Young, 1995; Townsend, 1996). Concentrations seem to be increasing in many areas of the state (Townsend et al., 1996; Townsend et al., 1997). The purpose of this circular is to describe nitrate, its sources, the extent of the nitrate problem in Kansas, and how ground water can be protected from nitrate contamination....

"Nitrate readily dissolves in water and, once there, is hard to remove. Nitrate concentration in ground water is commonly reported as "nitrate as nitrogen" (nitrate-N)--that is, only the nitrogen in the nitrate molecule (NO3-) is counted. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) set the MCL for drinking water at 10 milligrams/liter (mg/L) nitrate-N. Nitrate consumption can pose health risks. One of these, methemoglobinemia (or blue baby disease), is caused by bacterial conversion of nitrate to nitrite (NO2-) in the intestinal tract. Nitrite interferes with the oxygen-carrying capability of the blood and the victim appears "blue." This condition can be fatal both to human infants and to some young animals."

Mike Blur 8 years, 2 months ago

Remember the JW article a few weeks ago about the city and or county worrying about trying to find funds to pay for a test of the levee? Well, now, aren't we getting a free test courtesy of Mother Nature??!!

Oh, and I agree with Siggy for once. Whoever it is, please turn off the ALL CAPS. The internet ain't Western Union.

countrygirl 8 years, 2 months ago

Anybody been back out on 24 between Lawrence and Perry since this morning?

unite2revolt 8 years, 2 months ago

Just thought I would say that I was out for lunch and go passed by about 12 emergency vehilcles including one with a boat trailler and two boats. All heading towards the river. Expect we will be hearin about somebody else being rescued soon.

Jackalope 8 years, 2 months ago

Must have been a lot of smokers on U.S. 24........

Jackalope 8 years, 2 months ago

"any comment with too high a percentage of CAPITAL LETTERS will get automatically downcased for easy reading" How about being as concerned about snow blindness and all of the WHITE.............

conservative 8 years, 2 months ago

James, cool feature, and a welcome addition. Thanks.

acg 8 years, 2 months ago

That's the question I have too, countrygirl. I need to take 24 to get home but am wondering if anyone has been out there this afternoon and knows what condition its in?

bmwjhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

concernedparent 8 years, 2 months ago

I've heard its fine to Perry from Lawrence.

acg 8 years, 2 months ago

What about from Topeka to Hgwy 59? Anyone know? That's the part they shut down earlier today. My hubby just called from home and said that our neighbor's dock, across the lake, has broken off of his place and has been washed up into our back yard. I'm so not in the mood for this. On the other hand, I needed a new dock, so....

andilynn 8 years, 2 months ago

24 highway is clear from Perry to Lawrence, but I am sure that from Perry to Topeka it isn't.

Centrist 8 years, 2 months ago

Nice that the City is finally looking across the river at North Lawrence. Now, if they'd just do it for a better reason ..

.. and look east occasionally too!

naturalist 8 years, 2 months ago

acq, you might want to take Hwy 4 north past Meriden to Hwy 92 and then east to either Ferguson Road or Hwy 59, whichever works for your homeward trip. It's one way to be sure you won't get turned around at Grantville, anyway. Although I don't travel that route so I don't know if there are any low spots to be concerned about there. It seems like those would be higher roads anyway.

acg 8 years, 2 months ago

Thanks naturalist. I wasn't too familiar with the Hghway 4 route, that will help. Well I'm off like a prom dress. Ya'll wish me luck. If ya'll see someone floating down a river/stream in a silver zx2, that would be me. Send help. :)

RJ_Mettlehorst 8 years, 2 months ago

According to the KDOT 511 web site (511.ksdot.org), US 40 is open from Topeka to Lawrence. You can also call 511 for the latest road closure information.

8 years, 2 months ago

Check out the current footage of the bridge/river from the Channel 6 TowerCam. If this rain keeps up WalMart will sell out of water wings and snorkels.

budwhysir 8 years, 2 months ago

YES, YES, YES, I AGREE NO CAP LETTERS AROUND HERE, IT CAUSES TOO MANY EYE PROBLEMS FOR THE FELLOW READERS

Hoots 8 years, 2 months ago

I went mountain biking east on the levy tonight. Right after the 3.5 mile marker the water is right up against the levy all the way to the end. The water was bubbling at mile marker 4 on down to mile 5 in several spots. The water is getting under the levy somehow and is flooding the fields on the other side.

I was amazed at the number of people down by the bridge watching the water. I was even more amazed by the stupid people that took the little ones right down by the water. The way the river is moving right now combined with all the debris it would take just one little slip and bye bye little one or bye bye family. Darwin at work again.

bearclaws 8 years, 2 months ago

The dog park / disc course at Riverfront Park is completely under by 5-6 feet. I was there Saturday and it was not even that soggy with the river a good 10 feet below the bank. Amazing what 36 hours can do.

Won't be taking the dog for a while with lots of nasty crap lingering around.

CrazyDiamond 8 years, 2 months ago

"the water is getting under the levy somehow and is flooding the fields on the other side"

Any chance it happened to rain on the other side of the levy?

rsmart 8 years, 2 months ago

topcity.... we are glad you don't care about north lawrence. we don't need smartas--s like you over here anyway!

crazyleaflady 8 years, 2 months ago

Hoots--Crazy Diamond's right. The ground is saturated; what you're seeing is a result of the rains on the other side of the levees. It isn't getting through. Yet.

Hoots 8 years, 2 months ago

Go look for yourself at mile marker 4 east on the levy. The water is bubbling right next to the levy in mutiple spots. You'll understand if you see it for yourself. The bubbles are coming from the water seaping into the ground at a high rate. I saw it with my own eyes. I love it when people here doubt everything. Get off your keyboard for a few minutes and see for yourself. The walk or ride might do you some good.

So smart ones...where is the water going that is obviously going into the ground next to the levy?

James Bennett 8 years, 2 months ago

Courtesy of my fellow programmer Tom Tobin, the LJWorld.com comments area is now a "no shouting" zone; any comment with too high a percentage of CAPITAL LETTERS will get automatically downcased for easy reading :)--James Bennett, web developer, LJWorld.com

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