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Local levees threatened by record-setting releases into Missouri River

June 6, 2011 Comments off

columbiamissourian

COLUMBIA — Workers at the city’s water treatment plant in the Missouri River bottoms are getting the boats out of storage.

Two levees protect McBaine from river levels up to 32 feet, and a flood wall at the plant itself can withstand up to 40 feet, said Floyd Turner, Columbia’s manager of water operations.

Extremely high amounts of rainfall and melting snow along the northern sections of the Missouri River are expected to raise river levels enough to possibly overwhelm levees throughout the state. One of those at risk, the McBaine Levee District, protects the Columbia Drinking Water Plant.If the Missouri River overflows the levees along the river, though, plant workers will need their two 14-foot boats to navigate between the nearby wells and possibly transport workers to and from the plant.

The water plant’s staff was stockpiling sand for spot leaks along with other supplies in case floods limit access to the plant, engineer Michael Anderson said Friday. Workers at the plant were also checking on emergency generators in the event the plant loses electricity.

A forecast from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows the Missouri River overflowing as many as 58 levees between Kansas City and St. Louis by the end of the month.

After a year’s worth of rain in recent weeks and snowpack 140 percent above average in the Read more…

NOAA: Another Spring of Major Flooding Likely in North Central U.S.

February 20, 2011 Comments off

North Central U.S. Spring Flood Risk Map as of Feb. 17, 2011.

North Central U.S. Spring Flood Risk Map as of Feb. 17, 2011.

Download here. (Credit: NOAA)

A large swath of the country is at risk of moderate to major flooding this spring, from northeastern Montana through western Wisconsin following the Mississippi River south to St. Louis, National Weather Service flood experts are forecasting. Today the agency released an initial spring flood outlook for this high risk region and will release a national spring flood outlook on March 17.

For the third consecutive year, forecasters predict moderate to major flooding along the Red River of the North, which forms the state line between eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota and includes the Souris River Basin and the Devils Lake and Stump Lake drainages in North Dakota.

If the current forecast holds, the main stem Mississippi River is at risk for Read more…