Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Flooding Along the Missouri River

My heart goes out for the people of Greensburg, Kansas, which is located about thirty-five miles west of Pratt, my wife’s hometown. During one of our trips to Pratt, we met a mother and daughter from Greensburg and learned about the deepest hand dug well, a prominent feature of the town, which was created to supply the Santa Fe & Topeka locomotives in the 19th century and once served as the city’s water supply. We had hopes of visiting Greensburg during one of our upcoming trips. Greensburg can be rebuilt, but it will never fully recover from the tornado that struck on May 5. See In This Moment for detailed coverage of the Greensburg disaster.

The part of Kansas where I live has been inundated with rain. A relative of ours, who isn’t acquainted with the torrential rain of eastern Kansas, which mostly falls from March to May and September to November, was woken up on Monday morning to discover that his car was flooded and that his apartment building had water on the first floor. He lived just twenty feet from a creek that seemed fairly innocuous until it swelled with rushing storm water.

The city of Leavenworth has blocked off access to the flooding created by the Missouri River. Some areas north of Leavenworth had as much as seven inches of rain while we had almost four inches in Leavenworth. All of that water is making its way south. Monday night the flooding brought out many of the townspeople who wanted to see exactly how high the river had gotten. When I tried crossing over the police tape to get a better view, one of the firefighters turned me back.

Because access has been blocked to the Missouri River, my wife and I went a few miles away to witness the flooding of the Platte River (not the Platte River found in Nebraska), which feeds the Missouri. Some of our artifacts appear here.

The crest has not yet arrived at Farley, as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Platte River is seen on the other side of the trees in this last picture. Generally, it is possible to walk down to the River at this scenic spot.