Water levels still were high in area rivers and streams Tuesday morning but only one Dickinson County road remained closed.
“From the looks of it, we still have four to five feet of water over (the 2100 block of) Jeep Road this morning,” said Dickinson County Administrator Brad Homman.
“Some type of levee or obstruction broke between Abilene and Jeep Road that allowed the water to hit Jeep pretty hard,” Homman said.
Solomon Road also began flooding again Tuesday morning, although it remained open to one lane of traffic as Dickinson County road crews flagged people through.
“We suspect the river is coming up on the west side due to all the rain they got in Mitchell County a few days ago that is just now making it down the Solomon River,” Homman said. “We have no idea what to expect about how long that will last or to what degree. We’re taking it hour by hour.”
Emergency declaration extended
The Dickinson County Commission held a special meeting at 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 24 and approved a new resolution extending a state of local disaster emergency to help mitigate flooding.
Chairman Lynn Peterson conducted the meeting while commissioners Craig Chamberlin and Ron Roller participated via telephone.
The commission earlier declared a local state of emergency during a special meeting Monday, May 20. That initial declaration only was good for seven days.
Declaring a local state of emergency opens up state and federal resources to help deal with flooding and other issues.
River levels still high
The Smoky Hill River at Sand Springs remained at a fairly consistent — but high level — Tuesday morning. Eden Road south of Old 40 reopened over the holiday weekend, but river levels had only dropped a quarter to perhaps a half-inch.
Although the Smoky Hill River south of Abilene reached the stage where it flooded and closed state highway K-15 back in 1993, that did not occur this year.
“We haven’t figured out what is different between 1993 and now,” Homman told commissioners on Friday. “In 1993 when the levels are where they are now, we were slapping around in water on South Buckeye.”
Although severe storms were forecast for Monday (yesterday), the National Weather Service was forecasting a break in the rainy pattern this week, perhaps giving time to dry out.
With the ground already saturated and reservoirs to the east like Tuttle Creek reaching capacity and Perry Reservoir already releasing water, any rain that falls here will spread out.
“You would think none of that affects us, but if it (water) goes down the Kansas River and eventually hits the Mississippi and it’s already full, that means the water here has no place to go,” Homman said.
Contact Kathy Hageman at firstname.lastname@example.org.