WEATHER/FLOOD UPDATE: Severe weather, heavy rain risk persists; Wastewater Treatment Plant at 4-7 times its normal flow; state park access impacted

WEATHER/FLOOD UPDATE: Severe weather, heavy rain risk persists; Wastewater Treatment Plant at 4-7 times its normal flow; state park access impacted KVOE News file photo

The risk of heavy rain and severe weather is back in the picture for the KVOE listening area for much of Friday, although that risk thankfully hasn't fully materialized the last two nights for the Flint Hills.

Flash flood watches now cover Lyon, Coffey, Morris, Osage and Wabaunsee counties until Saturday morning and Chase and Greenwood counties until Friday night. Flood warnings continue for Chase and Greenwood counties until Saturday morning.

Current forecasts call for the best chance of thunderstorms from early afternoon through evening, although the morning could see activity as well. Spotty heavy rain and all severe weather hazards are possible.

Meanwhile, Kansas Highway 99 remains closed until further notice from Emporia's south city limits to Road 130. Access to Old Highway 99 bridge and All Veterans Memorial is now closed until K-99 reopens, and Commercial Street is closed to thru traffic from Logan Avenue to Soden's Grove until further notice. The David Traylor Zoo remains open.

*400 block; 1400 block Road 170
*1500 Road 170 from R to R1
*1600 Road G
*1900 Road J
*1750-1778 Road P2 -- Camp Alexander Area
*Cutoff from 75 to Road U5
*Road 137 North of N
*Road 140 North of P
*Road 150 From D to E
*Road 160 West of Road J
*Road 170 from C-5 to E; from E-5 to F; at Road P
*Road 180 From P to P5
*Road 190 from E Road L5 to Road M
*Road A from N HWY 50 to Road 180
*Road B2 & B5 North of HWY 50 to Road 180
*Road B5 from N Road 170 to Road 173
*Road D North of Road 150
*Road F North of Road 140
*Road G from 20 to 30; North of Road 160
*Road K from S 210 to Road 190
*Road K7 South of 70
*Road N from 175 to 180
*Road U South of Road 75
*Road U5 South of Road 75

Chase County

*Numerous county roads closed. List pending

Coffey County

*Numerous county roads closed. List pending

Greenwood County

*Access to the Greenwood County Landfill is closed until further notice after nearby bridge access was washed out

*55 Street between H and J
*140 Street between P and P-50
*150 Street between M and N
*180 Street between S and T
*200 Road between CC-50 and DD; between EE and FF
*310 Street between T and U; between V and W
*330 Road between BB-50 and CC
*360 Street between P and Q
*380 Street between V and V-50
*AA Road between 210 and 230
*BB-50 Road between Elk County line and US Highway 400
*CC-50 Road between US Highway 400 and Trader Street
*GG Road between US Highway 54 and 165
*P Road between 130 and 140; between 360 and 370
*R-50 Road between 160 and 175
*U Road between 160 and 170; between 380 and 390
*V Road between Elk County line and 10; between 310 and 320

Emporia Wastewater Treatment Plant update

As the third round of flooding this month continues, the situation at Emporia's Wastewater Treatment Plant is improving in at least one way. One ultraviolet filter was damaged earlier this month and remains offline. Another was taken offline as a precautionary measure, but city leaders have been told it can be used.

Unfortunately, the facility is now dealing with water coming in at four to seven times the normal flow rate and double the facility's capacity. Assistant City Manager Lane Massey tells KVOE News the plant typically handles between 3 million and 5 million gallons of water a day, and it can handle up to 12 million gallons at its peak. The current flow is around 20 million, and it has been as high as 22 million gallons this month.

Massey says no issues have been reported downstream, but he expects some sort of widespread boil water advisory could be issued later by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment because of the extensive flooding across Kansas this month.

The damaged ultraviolet filters were almost brand-new as the city concludes an extended facility upgrade to meet recent federal mandates on nutrient levels. Massey says it may be several months before the damaged equipment can be totally replaced.

River readings

Most rivers are in flood across the KVOE listening area.

The Cottonwood is in flood from Emporia west to Cottonwood Falls.

*At Emporia, the river is at 25.04 feet, above flood stage of 20 and down slightly from 25.5 early Thursday. The river may not go below flood stage until Tuesday.
*At Plymouth, the river is at 32.78 feet, above flood stage of 32 feet and down from 33.91 feet Wednesday. The river is falling and could go below flood stage early Saturday.
*At Cottonwood Falls, the river is at 10.5 feet, above flood stage of 9 feet but below a tentative crest of 13.4 feet Wednesday. The river is falling and should go below flood stage Friday morning.

The Neosho is in flood from Neosho Rapids southeast to LeRoy.

*At Neosho Rapids, the river is at 25.51 feet, above flood stage of 22 feet but down from 26.34 earlier this week. The river is falling now but could climb to 27 feet Sunday morning. It may not go below flood stage until early Tuesday.
*At Burlington, the river is at 30.86 feet. Flood stage is 27. The river could climb to 31.1 feet and hold steady near 31 feet for several days. The flood warning goes until further notice.
*At LeRoy, the river is at 27.18 feet, above flood stage of 23 but below a mark of 28.2 feet earlier Wednesday. The river could hold steady at 27.4 feet, or close to that mark, for several days. The river is in a flood warning until further notice.


After increasing water releases at John Redmond Reservoir at times Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers is now holding the release at just under 24,000 cubic feet per second, but more water -- about 27,000 cfs -- is coming in from upstream, so the lake is still rising. Flood-prone areas in Burlington and LeRoy in Coffey County are impassable in several areas, so evacuations are voluntary but now strongly encouraged. Sandbags and sand are available for Coffey County residents at the northwest corner of the Burlington High School parking lot. The Red Cross still has its shelter at the Allen County Community College Red Barn in Iola for residents needing a place to stay. Coffey County residents who evacuate are told to call the Coffey County Sheriff's Office at 620-364-2123 so authorities can account for those who have evacuated and those who have not.

Releases continue as well from Council Grove and Marion reservoirs, although not nearly to those levels. The release from Council Grove Reservoir is less than 900 cfs. The release at Marion Reservoir is almost 1,700 cfs.

State parks

All this water is having an impact on state lakes. The Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism says all campgrounds and day-use facilities at Fall River State Park are closed until further notice. Melvern Lake, meanwhile, has numerous closures at the Arrow Rock site through June 30. There are also a host of closures at the Coeur d'Alene site through June 30 and at Turkey Point, with some closures possibly opening by May 30 and others not likely to reopen until June 30. People can go online to to check on campsite and cabin availability.

Stay with KVOE and for updates. Join KVOE’s social media accounts on Twitter@kvoeam1400 or Facebook@kvoenews for instant weather and travel alerts if you have not already done so. Also, make sure to download the free KVOE mobile app so you have our severe weather coverage wherever you may be.

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