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Your local and regional news for Northeastern Kansas and the surrounding communities, brought to you by the KPR news staff.

Area Missouri River Levees Expected to Hold

People in northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri could be in for a long, wet summer. A flood warning is in effect for the Missouri River at Atchison, Leavenworth and St. Joseph, and will stay in effect until further notice. That has many residents worried about how the area's levees are holding up. Jud Kneuvean (kuh-NEE-vin) with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers says area levees are not expected to overtop...but that doesn't mean there are no concerns about a long-term flood event.

Yesterday (MON), levee breaches occurred near the Iowa-Missouri border and in Holt County, Missouri. More upstream water releases from a dam in South Dakota are scheduled to begin today (TUE) as part of a plan to control regional flooding. That means even more water is headed to parts of the Missouri River in and around Kansas City.

Concerns Rise Over Possible Long-Term Flood Event

Flood warnings remain in effect for much of the Missouri River basin until further notice - and that could mean the cities of Leavenworth, Atchison and St. Joseph will be seeing floodwaters for much of the summer. Jud Kneuvean with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers says the levees are expected to hold, but the longer the floodwaters run high, the more problems could arise.

More water releases from upstream dams and reservoirs are expected throughout the summer months, and it could be well into August or beyond before Missouri River water levels return to normal.

Upstream Missouri River Releases Could Continue Thru Summer

Flooding along the Missouri River basin continues, and no end is in sight. Jud Kneuvean (kuh-NEE-vin) is the Chief of Emergency Management with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers for the Kansas City district. He says river and tributary levels are high, and getting higher...while the volume of water being released from upstream reservoirs and dams isn't expected to decrease any time soon.

Kneuvean says flooding in northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri is likely to continue throughout the summer. A flood warning is in effect until further notice for the Missouri River at St. Joseph, Atchison and Leavenworth.

Atchison Gearing Up for Missouri River Flood

Atchison County emergency officials are busy preparing for increased flooding of the Missouri River. The Army Corps of Engineers has stepped up the release of water from upstream dams and is gearing up to do that again sometime next week. County Emergency Preparedness head Lori Chew says Atchison's levees are in good shape, and when flows increase, the elevation of the county shoud keep flooding to a minimum.

Heavy rains and melting snow have pushed more water into the Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota than it can safely hold back, so the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing an unprecedented amount of water from the facility. That will bring an even bigger surge of water to the area next week. But more rain upriver could cause engineers to increase its planned releases yet again.

Cowboy Poetry Contest Coming to Wabaunsee County

A special event will be taking place this weekend at the fairgrounds building in Alma. Ron Wilson is one of the organizers of the first-ever Kansas Cowboy Poetry contest...and he's an aspiring poet himself:

That's just one part of Wilson's poem "What's in a Name." You can hear the rest this weekend at the poetry competition, which gets underway at 10 o'clock Saturday morning. There's no admission charge and no tickets are required. For more information, or to sign up to compete in the contest, visit cowboypoetrycontest.com.

Royals Make Gardner-Edgerton Grad First Pick

There was a day when Albert Pujols (POO-Holss) attended high school and community college in the Kansas City area. Then he became a baseball superstar in the big leagues--for the St. Louis Cardinals. As Kansas Public Radio's Greg Echlin explains, the Kansas City Royals don't want to see another potential superstar get away in last (MON) night's Major League Draft.

Bowyer Victory Highlights Race Weekend in Kansas

The marquis event at Kansas Speedway over the weekend was yesterday's (SUN) 400-mile Sprint Cup race. But one could easily argue that the weekend's highlight was Clint Bowyer's (Boyer's) victory in Saturday's trucks race. As Kansas Public Radio's Greg Echlin reports, the Emporia native had wished for a NASCAR victory close to home for a long time.

Lawrence Closes 2 Parks Due to Kansas River Flooding

The city of Lawrence has closed two parks and part of another as the Kansas River overflows its banks. Burcham and Riverfront Parks have been put off limits, along with the city's boat ramps and a portion of Constant Park. City spokeswoman Megan Gilliland says the parks' green spaces can absorb a lot of water, so flooding of homes or neighborhoods isn't an immediate concern.

Elsewhere in the region, flash flooding caused the evacuation yesterday (THUR) of some 200 people in the city of Manhattan. The Missouri River is also at or above flood stage in Atchison, Doniphan and Leavenworth counties following heavy rains and excessive runoff from snowmelt. Flooding along the Missouri is expected to continue well into the summer.

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