(RILEY COUNTY AND POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, KS – May 28, 2019) To ensure dam safety, the Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin to increase the water release from Tuttle Creek Dam in Manhattan, Kansas beginning Wednesday, May 29, 2019, as runoff from rains this Memorial weekend are expected to fill the reservoir’s remaining flood storage capacity.
Based on water already in the Little and Big Blue Rivers, releases are expected to be set at 15,000 cubic feet per second. Tuttle Creek Dam will slowly increase water through the outlet works starting at 7:00 a.m. and continuing into the afternoon. Sirens near the dam and Rocky Ford Fishing Area will he sounded with each increase in release. If additional rain occurs, releases may be increased.
This amount of water is not expected to cause any flooding downstream and no evacuation notices have been issued. If any announced releases are expected to cause flooding downstream, evacuation notices will be issued for impacted areas. The release will be managed from the outlet works (the tubes) and is expected to stay within the river channel. Additional rainfall is forecast and USACE staff are monitoring the situation 24 hours a day.
“This release will help slow down the rise of the lake. We’re definitely not out of the woods yet, but this release is a positive development for our community,” said Scott French, Manhattan Fire Chief and current Incident Commander.
Officials in Riley County, Pottawatomie County, and the City of Manhattan will continue to prepare for potential flooding throughout the area. Credentialed personnel will be visiting flood prone neighborhoods in Manhattan and in rural areas, going door-to-door to make sure residents are aware of the flood risks. These personnel will also be gathering information from residents including how many people are in the household, asking if the occupants have flood insurance, and also asking if there are any people in the home with medical needs that would make evacuation difficult if that time comes.
Knowing the existing medical needs will help emergency personnel plan for safe evacuation appropriate shelter environments for people with medical conditions. Residents are encouraged to ask for credentials from people who visit their home. A Flood Evacuation Special Needs form is also available for both counties.
A hotline has been established at the Emergency Operations Center and will be staffed 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Please call (785) 587-4526 for flood information. If no one answers, personnel are likely on another call and call back if you leave a message.
Residents are advised to sign up for Emergency Alerts to receive direct notification of flooding and severe weather by phone, text, and/or email.
Information is also available on the City of Manhattan website at www.cityofmhk.com/flood. Updates will be shared on Facebook ManhattanFloodUpdates and on Twitter @updatesflood. News releases will be published daily or as additional information becomes available.