flooding

Missouri Valley Special Collections / Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri

While many eyes remain on recovery and damage assessment in Texas and Louisiana in the literal wake of Hurricane Harvey, some residents of the Kansas  City metro — who've seen unusual amounts of rainfall and dangerous flooding this summer — are growing more concerned about the possibility of unprecedented floods.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Two councilmembers who represent constituents along Indian Creek say Kansas City needs a regional approach to flood control.

Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus, both of whom live in south Kansas City, Missouri, held a news conference Tuesday urging city leaders to work with other municipalities to keep Indian Creek from flooding again, as it has twice this summer. They plan to introduce a resolution at Thursday’s city council meeting.

In the wake of Charlottesville, and growing visibility of extremist groups like white supremacists and neo-Nazis, we ask, what does it mean to be white? 

Plus, with unprecedented flooding in Houston, we take a moment to see how prepared Kansas City is for heavy rainfall. 

Guests:

Katie Bernard / KCUR 89.3

Historic flooding on July 27 led to a dramatic water rescue at the popular Coach's Bar and Grill in south Kansas City. High water also caused major damage to businesses in the same strip near 103rd Street and Wornall Road.

Now, the properties' owners have decided "it is just not worth it" to restore the 103 Square complex. 

The City of Grandview

The Little Blue River is causing big problems for the City of Grandview — more than $1.3 million worth to be exact. 

Heavy rains caused major flooding across the metro Thursday, and Grandview officials say they may end up needing state or federal help to clean up the damage. 

"Unfortunately, we might get to the point where we might qualify for some state or federal assistance because there’s so much damage," Grandview Communications Manager Valarie Poindexter said. 

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated with additional information at 1:32 p.m. 

Heavy rains overnight caused severe flooding in parts of the Kansas City metropolitan area. 

In some areas of downtown, the rain at times fell at a rate of 2.5 inches per hour, according to the National Weather Service. Southern Cass County and parts of Lafayette County saw up to nine inches. 

Flooding was still widespread Thursday afternoon across the metro area, especially across portions of Wyandotte, Johnson and Jackson counties. 

The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, issued a Flash Flood Warning for counties in northwest and north-central Missouri Thursday morning after a string of severe storms dumped up to a foot of rain in the area, starting Wednesday night. 

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.

Aerial Ozarks

Heavy rains flooded much of Missouri over the weekend, covering roads and knocking out power. The floods reached historic levels in several places, including Tecumseh, Missouri.

The town sits just a few miles north of the Arkansas border. Fast-rising flood waters stranded Autumn Shirley and her family on the roof of their house for more than nine hours this weekend.

Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms over the weekend caused record high flooding in southern Missouri, leading Governor Eric Greitens to declare a state of emergency.

Jim Mathis / Johnson County Library

Kansas City, Missouri, voters approved a series of general obligation bonds aimed at improving infrastructure throughout the metro, and totaling more than $800 million. Today, Councilman Quinton Lucas tells us how he expects the investments to affect local communities. Then, public libraries may be facing cuts at both federal and state levels. We speak with local library directors to find out how they are faring in an era of "skinny budgets."

You know Chuck Haddix as host of KCUR's Fish Fry, but his day job is director of UMKC's Marr Sound Archives. He finds truly surprising audio clips while working there, and he shares some with us in this edition of Up to Date. "It's like Christmas everyday," he says.

Tyler Koonce / Twitter

Rounds of heavy rain fell Friday evening leading to flash flooding in parts of the Kansas City metro area. Up to six inches fell in just two hours on parts of the city, leaving some downtown and Midtown roads impassable.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for the immediate downtown Kansas City area. It was the first flash flood emergency ever issued for the Kansas City area by the NWS.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

This spring, there's new life on the Missouri River - and it's more than buds on trees or fish in the water. 

Barge traffic may be on the verge of a renaissance.

At least that's the hope of Port KC, which reopened the Woodswether terminal in the West Bottoms last year. The facility, currently the only public port operating on the river, is receiving barges for the first time since 2007. 

Heavy rainfall and swollen rivers have caused major flooding in Missouri and southern Illinois, leading to voluntary evacuations and road closures. The governors of both states have declared a state of emergency, and water levels on the Mississippi River shattered records. While this story is still developing, here are the main things you need to know about the recent floods.

At least 10 people were confirmed dead after a winter storm moved across Missouri Monday. Most of them drowned after driving along submerged roads.

Flood waters continued to submerge roads and lowlands across Missouri late Monday, including major highways. Portions of Interstate 44 were closed near Rolla and Fort Leonard Wood. I-70 eastbound was also closed in St. Charles County. 

Despite declaring a state of emergency on Sunday, Gov. Jay Nixon has no plans so far to activate the Missouri National Guard.

As the nation looks back on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged cities and communities along the Gulf Coast, we discuss how well the Kansas City area is prepared to deal with disasters of similar proportions — both natural and man-made.

Guests:

  • Chris Carroll is Emergency Planner for the city of Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Justin Sorg is the Planning and Exercise Program Manager for the Mid-America Regional Council.

Our resident historian and an attorney/engineer who is involved in KC's levee systems management discuss how floods have shaped and changed the city.

A storm pattern bringing thunderstorms, heavy rain, hail and high winds moved across the Kansas City metro Saturday night. Flash flood and tornado warnings were issued for the region and thousands lost power. Most power had been restored by Sunday morning. 

Though there has been no major damage reported in Kansas City, the Clay County town of Mosby, Missouri, is under evacuation because of rising water, according to the Kansas City Star.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

If current forecasts hold, the Missouri River should fall below flood stage late Friday.

For weeks, the Army Corps of Engineers has been monitoring a stretch of the Missouri between Rulo, Nebraska, and Leavenworth, Kansas, after heavy rains fell upstream in South Dakota and Iowa.

On Thursday, though the river remained above flood stage in St. Joseph, Kansas City District Chief of Emergency Management Jud Kneuvean says the metro has been relatively fortunate.

Credit: Waynesville Pulaski County Flood Emergency Facebook Page

Gov. Jay Nixon toured parts of flood-ravaged south-central Missouri Thursday following days of heavy rains, which damaged dozens of homes and killed a young boy and his mother.

The Governor praised the work of local organizations in their response efforts, including the Red Cross, whose Waynesville shelter housed 27 people Wednesday night. Nixon has called upon the Missouri National Guard for security and traffic control, as numerous streets have been closed, including sections of I-44 earlier this week.

In The Shoes Of Red Cross Volunteers

Jul 22, 2013
Steve Rhodes/Flickr-CC

We’ve all seen it on TV— a hurricane strikes, leaving thousands without power, food, or clean water for days or even weeks. When disasters happen, the Red Cross is the organization that always seems to be there.

Kenneth L. Kieser / Missouri's Great Flood of '93--Revisiting an Epic Natural Disaster

Twenty years ago this summer, monsoon-like rains, unseasonably heavy snowfall and unusual air pressure patterns combined to cause massive flooding across nine Midwestern states.

47 people died. Tens of thousands were forced from their homes, water inundated 75 towns and destroyed millions of acres of farmland. Damages were estimated at $20 billion dollars.

I covered the floods for NPR in 1993, and went back to revisit some of the people and places affected by what’s still called The Great Flood.

A powerful flood

The '93 Flood: Twenty Years Later

Jul 5, 2013
Kenneth L. Kieser / Missouri's Great Flood of '93-- Revisiting an Epic Natural Disaster

The Great Flood of 1993 absolutely battered the Midwest between April and October, with the peak occurring in July here in Kansas City.  Over 50 people lost their lives in incidence connected to the flooding over the summer of 1993.

Host Monrone Dodd talks with KCUR reporter Laura Ziegler, John Grothaus, Chief of Planning and Formulation for the Army Corps of Engineers; and Kenneth Kieser, author of Missouri's Great Flood of '93.

The motorized growl from an idling John Deere tractor drowned out the sounds of nature on a recent morning on Chris Webber’s central Missouri family farm.

As he checked the 40 acres of muddy field he wanted to plant that day, Webber worried about getting more rain, even as he worried about the lack of it.

“The drought is over at the moment,” he said, “but in Missouri, we tend to say that in 10 days or two weeks, we can be in a drought again. That’s how fast it can get back to dry.”

Steve Bell / KCUR

UPDATE 11:51 a.m. Storm Water Withdrawing:

The heavy rain and thunderstorms across the Kansas City area Friday are receding.

According to Chris Bowman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, the main event appears to be over.

"It's just really kind of cleaning up from the morning's heavy rain," Bowman said.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Floods leave mark on farmlands.  Kobach pushes for state lawmakers to finish redistricting.  KU Hospital restarts heart transplant program.  It’s a daily digest of headlines from KCUR.