NWS says river appears to be cresting

Osawatomie city workers put in stop logs at the railroad tracks in the southwest levee gate early Wednesday morning. At midday Wednesday, officials said the projected river crest will fall below the need to put in stop logs at First Street and the North Railroad Bridge at this time.

OSAWATOMIE—The Marais des Cygnes River appears to be cresting at Osawatomie, according to the National Weather Service.

Miami County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Fleming received some encouraging news during a webinar with the NWS on Wednesday, May 22.

“The National Weather Service is confident the river has gone about as high as it’s going to go,” Fleming said Wednesday afternoon, after speaking with NWS officials.

The current NWS river model shows the crest should be noticeable by Thursday afternoon and continue to recede each day.

Though rain remains in the forecast into the weekend, the NWS said Miami County appears to be on the western fringe of the storm system, Fleming said.

“Next week if some huge thunderstorms fire up, (NWS) might have to adjust their model,” Fleming said. “Based on the current projections, they expect the river to go down.”

Osawatomie city officials said earlier in the day they did not anticipate having to close the floodgates at First Street and the North Railroad Bridge.

On the other side of town, Pottawatomie Creek crested upstream about midnight, and was expected to crest at Osawatomie Wednesday afternoon, according to a city news release.

Ottawa closed its Main Street floodgate on Tuesday. Downstream in Osawaotmie, public works crews installed stop logs in the levee’s southwest gate to prevent rising water from entering town early Wednesday morning.

“We put in a couple of logs about 3 a.m.,” City Manager Don Cawby said Wednesday. “Water is already up to them.”

Rail traffic has ceased at this time, he said.

The next locations where stop logs would be installed are at First Street and the North Railroad Bridge, but based on current river level projections the river crest would be below that point, city officials said.

The river level was 40.18 feet at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to NWS.

City officials said four stationary pumps and six mobile pumps are being used to address ponding areas near the levee, caused by two days of excessive rain.

“Everything is being done at this time to keep up with the excess water,” Cawby said.

Osawatomie Public Works Director Bill Roseberry said he was impressed with how well city employees quickly responded and banded together to get the job done.

“I really want to commend our staff from every department involved for all of their cooperation and how well they were able to manage things,” Roseberry said.

Portions of some county roads remain closed due to flooding. Fleming said it was too early to make any damage estimates until the water recedes. He said the sheriff’s road patrols and county road and bridge workers are constantly checking the flooded roads, ensuring barricades are still in place.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday released a new list of road closings due to flooding:

  • 335th Street between Old KC and Plum Creek roads
  • 335th Street between Pressonville and Pleasant Valley roads
  • 347th (Main) Street east of Osawatomie.
  • Osawatomie Road North of 327th Street (side of road washed away)
  • Somerset Road between 267th Street and Kansas Highway 68
  • 287th Street and Oak Grove
  • 403rd Street and Plum Creek
  • 399th Street and Hedge Lane
  • 343rd Street between Victory and Columbia roads
  • 311th Street east of Baptiste Road
  • 343rd Street between Victory and Columbia roads
  • 311th Street east of Baptiste Drive
  • 287th Street, between Hospital Drive and Cedar Niles Road
  • 303rd Street west of Paola
  • Hospital Drive south of 343rd Street
  • Lookout Road, south of 293rd Street
  • 287th Street and Osawatomie Road
  • 215th Street east of Clare Road
  • Indianapolis Road, between 363rd and 351st streets
  • Beaver Creek Road, between 399th and 403rd Streets

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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