Soldiers and Airmen of the Kansas National Guard are responding to flooding as rivers surge toward crest stage across the state.
“The potential for flooding is high in several counties and we will do what we can to support the counties to protect the lives and property of the people we serve,” said Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.
Kansas National Guard Deployment:
Ten Kansas Guardsmen from the 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery have deployed to Elwood, Kan., in Doniphan County, along with two gator utility vehicles, to provide levee security and assessments. The soldiers, who traveled to Doniphan County today, will conduct 24-hour operations consisting of two roving patrols along the Missouri River system in the vicinity of Elwood and Wathena, Kan. Other soldiers and airmen are standing by to deploy to other areas, if needed.
In previous floods, Guardsmen have been called up to fulfill a number of different missions, including site security, search and rescue, evacuation of civilians, sand bagging operations, power generation and transportation of material and supplies. The State Aviation Office will also be prepared to provide any aerial support needed. Kansas National Guardsmen may also be called on to support the Missouri National Guard’s flood response measures.
Emergency Management Personnel Deployment:
A five-person incident management team from the Kansas City Metro Region, along with a five-person Incident Management Team from the Southeast Region have deployed to Doniphan County to provide support to county emergency management. One Kansas Adjutant General’s Department staff member has also deployed to provide geospatial information support.
Record snowfall and spring rains in the upper Missouri river basin have left the Missouri River reservoirs at historic levels. Rains of an inch to an inch and a half are forecast for the upper Missouri basin Monday and Tuesday with moderate to heavy rain Wednesday night into Thursday.
Missouri River water flows from five of the six dams are expected to reach a record of 150,000 cubic feet per second. The previous high releases were 70,000 cfs in the fall of 1997. Gavin’s Point dam, the first dam upstream from Kansas, will release that amount on June 14, arriving into Kansas June 17-18, setting up potential flooding in Atchison, Doniphan, Leavenworth and Wyandotte Counties.
The Missouri River is already above flood stage. With the heightened stage of the Missouri River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will decrease or stop the flows from reservoirs in Kansas to prevent increased flow into the Missouri River, which could potentially spread the heightened water levels across Kansas.