The Missouri River reached its flood stage early Thursday morning in the Leavenworth area. And the river continues to rise, according to the National Weather Service.

The Missouri River reached its flood stage early Thursday morning in the Leavenworth area. And the river continues to rise, according to the National Weather Service.

At 3 p.m. Thursday, the river was at a depth of 21.5 feet in the Leavenworth area.

The NWS continues to update the forecast for the river. But a forecast this morning was predicting the river will crest Wednesday of next week at a depth of 29.2 feet. And the river will remain above its flood stage until at least March 24.

The river reaches its minor flood stage for the Leavenworth area at 20 feet. The river reaches its moderate flood stage at 24 feet.

If the forecast holds true, this will be the river’s worst flood in Leavenworth since 2011 when the river reached a depth of 30.8 feet, according to the NWS.

At Leavenworth’s Municipal Service Center, employees were filling sandbags Thursday.

Leavenworth City Manager Paul Kramer said the sandbags will be used at the city’s Wastewater Plant, which is located at 1800 S. Second St., and in the area of a flood wall behind the Riverfront Community Center, 123 S. Esplanade St.

The city’s Brush Site, which is located near the Wastewater Plant, is closed until further notice.

This afternoon, Fort Leavenworth will be closing areas east of the railroad tracks that run through the Army post. This will include Sherman Army Airfield, according to Jeff Wingo, public affairs officer for the garrison.

Wingo said planes, fuel and other equipment are being moved from the airfield.

Chuck Magaha, Leavenworth County Emergency Management director, has said the flooding of the Missouri River is the result of runoff from melting snow and rain as well as increases in water being released from Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota.

He said there has been heavy rainfall upriver from Leavenworth.

“That’s our worst enemy right now,” he said.

Gavins Point Dam is part of a Missouri River reservoir system managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The amount of water being released from the dam has increased in recent days because of a rising inflow of water into the Gavins Point reservoir.

“We know there are communities experiencing flooding, or nearing that condition, along the Missouri downstream of our dams,” John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division in Omaha, said in a news release. “We are managing releases from Gavins Point as judiciously as we can in order to lessen the impact downstream.”

The Kansas City District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a statement Thursday encouraging stakeholders to pay close attention to the conditions on the Missouri River.

“We have high concern for overtopping of non-federal levees in the northern reaches of our district – from Rulo, Neb. to Kansas City, Mo. over the next several days due to heavy runoff from rain and melting ice,” the statement reads. “We will be closely monitoring federal levees, but none are predicted to overtop at this time.”

The Leavenworth area is scheduled to remain under a flood warning until 3:30 p.m. March 25, according to the National Weather Service.

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