NWS Issues Flood Watch For Emporia

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EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW)- A bit of a bright spot for the Emporia area Monday-their flood warning of more than a week was downgraded to a watch, but that still means the threat of more rain and flooding to come.

The National Weather Service says the Cottonwood River gauge normally measures at 4-5 feet, but on Monday, it reached 20 feet above normal and is expected to rise.

Flood waters continue to rush under the Cottonwood bridge in Emporia.

A green line on the bridge shows how high the river rose in 1951 and the National Weather Service continues to monitor the rising waters.

NWS tells 13 News the most recent reading of the Cottonwood River level is 25.07 feet at 1 p.m. Monday.

The water is down slightly compared to this weekend, but with thunderstorms in the forecast again, the Lyon County's Emergency Management Coordinator is shifting into high gear.

"Anytime you have flooding it's bad, especially to people that are impacted directly," said Rick Frevert, Lyon County Emergency Management Coordinator.

NWS says K-99 will remain closed as long as the Cottonwood River stays above 24 feet.

Emporia Zoo Director Lisa Keith is also facing challenges. She is taping off the road where bison were moved into a protected area away from high water.

"It's kinda sad. You put a lot of work into maintaining the exhibits and enclosures and you want animals to have full use of exhibit," said Keith.

The Fanestil Meats Plant also remains shut down. It is surrounded by water and Frevert says employees haven't been able to drive in or go to work. He says this is yet another precaution to maintain safety.

"Stay out of flood waters. Don't drive through tough flood waters," said Frevert.

List of road closures:

Road A between Road 140 and U.S. Highway 50
Road 150 between Roads E and F
Road A between U.S. Highway 50 and Road 180
Road 160 between Road G and Road J
Road H between Road 160 and Road 165
Road G between Road 160 and Road 170
Roads F5 and 160 up and around to Roads F and 170
Road 155 between Road F5 and Road G
Roads G and 160 south to Road 150 and north to Roads H and 160
Road C between U.S. Highway 50 and Road 180
Road B5 between U.S. Highway 50 and Road 173
Road 140 between roads E, F, G and H and north to the river
Road 170 between Road E5 and Road F
Road 150 at Kansas Highway 99 going west
Road J at Road 160 going south
Road M between Roads 137 and 150
Road M between Roads M and N
Road S between Roads S and 130 going north
Road T between Roads 130 and Road 150