Archive for Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Leavenworth continues flood-response efforts, closes airport

June 22, 2011

With the Missouri River projected to reach approximately 26 feet by this weekend, the city of Leavenworth is closing its Brush Site, Sherman Army Airfield and is finishing its preliminary sandbagging efforts around the Riverfront Community Center and Wastewater Treatment Plant this week.

The flood stage is currently just above 23 feet, but the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are predicting for levels to rise three feet by Saturday, which is expected to inundate the Brush Site at 1803 S. Second St. and the airport on Fort Leavenworth.

Residents are instructed to take their brush to the County Transfer Station/Recycling Center at 136th Street and Gilman Road starting Wednesday, June 22. For hours of operation and disposal fees, visit http://www.leavenworthcounty.org/sw/sw.asp.

“Although it is tough to know for sure how high the river will rise over the next week, we will be disconnecting the power at the Brush Site tomorrow and closing it down until the threat of flooding is behind us,” said Michael McDonald, director of Public Works. “We are also planning to finish filling the big sand bags around the Riverfront Community Center and start placing a line of protection around the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The city has this process down to a science now and it really only takes us 30 minutes to fill 30 feet of big bags.”

In addition to disconnecting electrical lines, filling bags and closing city-owned facilities, the city has made it a priority to protect the public by placing fencing and signs in areas along the riverfront and may soon close down Second Street near the city's Animal Shelter, Wastewater Treatment Plant and Brush Site. Once the street is closed, there will be a barricade and signs blocking vehicle and pedestrian access to that area, as well.

With the already elevated river levels, officials want to reiterate how imperative it is that residents and business owners monitor the local forecasts, as even small amounts of precipitation could impact city creeks and streams and produce a risk of flash flooding in the downtown area.

As communities along the river experience unprecedented flows out of the Missouri River main stem reservoirs, the Army Corps of Engineers in the Omaha District wants to ensure they are provided with accurate and up-to-date information in a timely fashion and has established a Joint Information Center for Missouri River flooding. The public can email questions to the Joint Information Center at MRJIC@usace.army.mil or call 402-996-3877.

During any flood response activities throughout the basin, the Corps will also provide regular updates directly to the public via Facebook and Twitter (OmahaUSACE). View daily and forecasted reservoir and river information on the Water Management section of the Northwestern Division homepage at www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc.

For more local flood and emergency information, visit the City of Leavenworth’s website www.lvks.org and check out the City’s Facebook (City of Leavenworth) and Twitter (First_City) pages. The public can also contact the Leavenworth County Emergency Management Office at 913-684-0455.

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