By: Janet Spurgeon
Torrential rains over a 5 day period lead to record flows on southeast Kansas rivers.
Record flooding occurred on the Fall River at Fredonia, Verdigris River at Independence and Coffeyville and on the Neosho River at Erie.The new record crest on the Fall River at Fredonia literally blew the old record out of the water. On June 30th at 11 AM, the river crested at 41.12 ft with a corresponding flow near 91,465 cfs. This flow is almost double the flow of 49,000 cfs that corresponded to the previous crest of 36.17 ft on 4/16/1945. Here are a few pictures taken by the USGS at the height of the flood and a few the day after the crest. See Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, and Image 5. At Independece on the Verdigris river, the new record crest of 52.40 ft occurred on July 1st at 8 AM. This is nearly 22 ft above flood stage! As the flood stage here is 30 ft. The previous record of 47.60 ft was on 5/19/1943. With this much volume of water, the river remained above flood stage for 9 days. The next set of pictures were taken by the USGS. These pictures were taken just east of Independence at the Highway 160 Bridge over the Verdigris River. See Image 6, Image 7, Image 8, Image 9, Image 10, Image 11, Image 12, Image 13. Downstream from Independence, Coffeyville also broke their previous crest record of 26.75 ft set on 5/7/1961. The new record crest of 30.7 ft occurred on the evening of July 1st at 6 PM. As like Independence, the river remained above flood stage for 9 days. On the Neosho River at Erie, the highest crest that could be obtained from our river observer was 40.60 ft on July 2nd at 7 AM. For a time, the gage could not safetly be reached as the roads were inundated to reach the staff gages. The old record of 36.96 ft was on 11/05/1998. The next 4 photos were taken by our NWS river observer at the river gaging site 2 miles southwest of Erie on Hwy 59. See Image 14, Image 15, Image 16, and Image 17. The remaining photos were taken from a local photographer, Greg Hunn in Erie. See Image 18, Image 19, Image 20, Image 21, Image 22, Image 23. Image 24 and Image 25 are pictures of the aftermath of the flooding.