While Southern And Eastern Missouri Flood, Kansas City Stays Relatively Dry

May 3, 2017

A photo posted on the US Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District Facebook page shows flooding on the Gasconade River in Jerome, Missouri. So far, the Kansas City metro area has not seen much impact from the floods.
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Along with another day of rain in the Kansas City area, water levels continue to rise across Missouri, causing flooding and dozens of road closures. While southern and eastern Missouri continue to experience serious flooding the Kansas City area has not seen much impact. 

The closest flooding to Kansas City has occurred on the Missouri River at Napoleon about thirty miles east.

Jud Kneuvean is the chief of emergency management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District. He says the main effects of flooding don’t start until Jefferson City, but Kansas Citians still need to be wary of flash flooding.

“The Kansas City metropolitan area has lots of creeks and small streams and those are always subject to flash flooding. People can live next to a stream for many years and not realize that it’s even there and it only takes one event for something tragic to happen,” he says.

Typically, Brush Creek and the town of Mosby, near Excelsior Springs, are two areas prone to flash floods. But Kneuvean says as heavy rain continues to threaten south of the metro, Urich and South Grand River face the greatest risk.

Kneuvean says the Army Corps has reduced water releases from the Kansas City district’s 18 reservoirs to lower the risk of downstream flooding.

“And then in the Osage River basin we have the Harry S. Truman Dam and Reservoir. It’s a very large lake and it's holding lots of water and we’re currently not releasing anything from Harry S. Truman,” he says.

Flooding has closed dozens of roads and Amtrak has suspended its rail service between Kansas City and St. Louis. Crews have started to clean up and assess damages in hard-hit southern Missouri which is still under a flood warning.

Danny Wood is a freelance reporter for KCUR 89.3.