Levee repairs proceeding

John Richmeier
Repair work continues for a levee that serves property in Leavenworth County owned by the Kansas Department of Corrections as well as private property. This is one of the levees in the county under repair.

It has been a year since local residents saw some of the worst flooding from the Missouri River in Leavenworth’s history.

Signs of the flooding still can be seen as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees the repair of levees in Leavenworth County.

Several levees in the county are being repaired along the river. In most cases, the cost for the repairs is being split between the federal government and a local entity responsible for the levee, said Col. Bill Hannan, commander of the Kansas City District of the Corps of Engineers.

In most cases, the federal government is paying for 80% of the cost and the local entity is paying for the remaining 20%.

Hannan said concerns about COVID-19 have not had a major impact on the levee repair work.

“It’s outdoors,” he said. “Everyone can stay socially distanced.”

Last year, the Leavenworth area saw its second and fourth worst floods on record.

On March 23, 2019, the Missouri River crested at 31.3 feet in Leavenworth, making it the second worst recorded flood in the city’s history, according to the National Weather Service.

The Missouri River reaches its minor flood stage in the Leavenworth area at 20 feet. The river reaches its moderate flood stage at 24 feet and major flood stage at 30 feet.

The river crested again June 1, 2019, at 28.66 feet, marking the fourth worst flood in the city’s history.

Forecasters have indicated more flooding could occur this year. But so far, the Missouri River has not flooded in the Leavenworth area in 2020.

Last week, the Missouri River rose to a depth of 17.83 feet in the Leavenworth area. This placed the river in what is known as its action stage. But the river crested before reaching flood stage.

The worst flood in Leavenworth’s recorded history occurred in 1993.

The Missouri River crested July 28, 1993, in Leavenworth at 35.34 feet, according to NWS.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR