Local officials keeping a close eye on water levels in Tuttle Creek Lake
Local officials started meeting on April 3 to discuss preparedness for spring flooding potential at Tuttle Creek Lake/Big Blue River and other tributaries. Personnel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Riley County Emergency Management, Pottawatomie County Emergency Management, Manhattan Fire Department, Pottawatomie County Fire Department, the Riley County Police Department, Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Department, City of Manhattan, and other officials will all coordinate efforts if a flood event occurs.
Widespread unregulated flows across western Iowa, eastern Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota have caused devastating flooding on multiple tributary streams and extensive overtopping and breaching of the Missouri River levees south of Omaha, Nebraska. The Missouri River levee system has been severely compromised. The Kansas City District has held Kansas River reservoir releases to minimum amounts to mitigate for high Missouri River flows and will continue to hold water until conditions allow for releases. The Corps began releasing water stored behind Harry S. Truman Dam on April 2 into the lower Missouri River, because river levels at Hermann, MO were declining. However, flows in the upper Missouri River remain elevated.
As of today, April 12, 2019, Tuttle Creek Lake is at 1115.40 ft above sea level. This means the Flood Control Space is half full and the lake is 22 ft below the level it reached for the 1993 flood. The USACE posts lake level updates daily at https://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Locations/District-Lakes/Tuttle-Creek-Lake/Daily-Lake-Info-2/.
The USACE reports that the flood water storage of Tuttle Creek Lake is at about 50% capacity. Flood control space indicates the water capacity above the normal pool level (see graphic). Daily report data from the USACE is available at https://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Locations/Water-Management/.
“Residents in the floodplain and other low-lying areas that don’t already have flood insurance should consider whether purchasing flood insurance would be an appropriate risk reduction measure for them. In addition, they should begin having preliminary discussions about where they could live and store essential valuables should significant releases from the Tuttle Creek Dam become necessary,” says Chad Bunger, Floodplain Manager and Assistant Director of Community Development for the City of Manhattan.
Flood insurance is available for property owners and renters and typically takes 30 days to go into effect. To find out if a home is in the floodplain area, check the floodplain map on the City of Manhattan website at https://cityofmhk.com/2201/Flood-Insurance-Rate-Maps. Note: areas outside and near the official floodplain could also flood depending on conditions. More information for renters and property owners is available through insurance agencies and additional map data is available through Riley County GIS at https://gis.rileycountyks.gov/.
Other steps residents should take include:
- Making an emergency kit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/survival-kit-supplies.html
- Creating a household evacuation plan that includes pets https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/make-a-plan.html
- Signing up for Emergency Notifications via text and email from Riley County https://www.rileycountyks.gov/917/Emergency-Notifications
- Select the group Tuttle Creek Lake/Blue River Info
- Connecting with neighbors to make plans and share information
Information is also available on the City of Manhattan website at www.cityofmhk.com/flood. Updates will be shared on Facebook Cityofmanhattan and on Twitter @cityofmhk as well.
Agencies approving this message:
- City of Manhattan
- Manhattan Fire Department
- Pottawatomie County Emergency Management
- Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office
- Riley County Emergency Management
- Riley County Police Department