Flood warning issued for river

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

Updated at 4:01 p.m. June 25, 2020, with updated forecast information.

Officials with the city of Leavenworth are making preparations today for flooding from the Missouri River.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the river that is scheduled to remain in effect until Monday morning.

The river is on the rise today in the Leavenworth area. At 11 a.m., the river was at a depth of 13.68 feet. The river reaches its flood stage for the Leavenworth area at 20 feet.

NWS forecasters are predicting the river will rise to 24.8 feet before cresting Saturday. This would place the river in what is considered a moderate flood category.

"It's already looking bad," Leavenworth County Emergency Management Director Chuck Magaha said.

He said the river's rise was the result of between 10 and 12 inches of rainfall east and west of St. Joseph, Missouri.

"It's going to be a fast rise, and it's going to be a fast fall," Magaha said.

A NWS forecast released this morning predicted the river will be back below flood stage by Sunday afternoon.

In Leavenworth, city officials were filling sandbags today to place at the city's wastewater treatment plant located at 1800 S. Second St., according to Melissa Bower, public information officer for the city.

Bower said city officials also were preparing to close a section of Second Street in the area of the plant. This portion of Second Street has a history of flooding as the Missouri River rises.

Bower said the city's Brush Site, 1803 S. Second St., will be closed Saturday.

She said city officials also are closing the campground at Riverfront Park. The campground is located along the Missouri River.

"We're closely watching the predictions and trying to adjust our preparations as we need to do so," Bower said.

Magaha said the fast rise of the river did not provide people much time to prepare for the flood.

"It doesn't give you any time for planning," he said. "You've got to do it now."

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