Tuttle Creek expects controlled releases will begin Wednesday

Published: May. 27, 2019 at 6:38 PM CDT
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With Tuttle Creek on the rise, the Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to take steps to keep water from rising any higher.

"That’s a result of us trying to keep up with the inflow, keep it from going over the top of the gates at 1,136 elevation,” Tuttle Creek park manager Melissa Bean said.

The Army Corps of Engineers says they're keeping a close eye day-by-day on the situation and do not plan to open the spillway gates at that time.

They'll use the outlet works, which should keep it out of residential areas.

They plan to start letting out about 15,000 gallons per second Wednesday through the outlet tubes. They expect to more than double that on Thursday.

The Army Corps of Engineers say effects on residents downstream depends on the stage of the Kansas River and timing of the release.

“There's potential for some flooding, but until the conditions present, we can't pinpoint that exactly,” Bean said.

At this point, no one is being ordered to evacuate. If it becomes necessary, those affected will be alerted via the Riley and Pottawatomie Co. emergency alert systems.

"That would all be determined by the county, we're in close coordination with them on a daily basis at this point,” Bean said.

Lifelong residents of Manhattan overlook the rising water with vivid memories of 1993. Back then, the Army Corps of Engineers opened all 18 flood gates at Tuttle, releasing about 450,000 gallons of water per second.

But Bean says this event is smaller — about 37,000 gallons per second — which is much different than the flooding 26 years ago.

"It’s kind of comparing apples to oranges, because each condition is different,” Bean said. “The timing of the rain, the amount of the rain, what is the downstream looking like, so it's really not comparable.”

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