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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Tuttle Creek Lake Reaches 3rd Highest Level Since 1973

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

Heavy rains and flooding that occurred across Nebraska last month has flown down the Little & Big Blue rivers to Tuttle Creek Reservoir near Manhattan. So much, that Tuttle Creek has reached the 3rd highest level recorded since 1973, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Operations Manager Brian McNulty.

As of April 11th, the lake reached 1,115.26 feet above sea level, which is 40.26 feet above the normal pool level. Water flowing into the lake is arriving at approximately 1,800 cubic feet per second, while water is being released from the lake at 160 cubic feet per second.

The high lake levels have delayed opening of some campsites, and some roads around the lake are submerged and closed. Corps staff asks the public not to go around barricades, or enter flooded waters.

The Corps of Engineers is waiting for water levels to drop on the Missouri River before they can begin to release more water downstream. However, the lake is only at about 50 percent of capacity for holding water.

On July 23, 1993 the highest level ever recorded in Tuttle Creek was achieved, at 1,137.77 feet above sea level, or 63 feet above normal.


  • 1,137.76′ – July 23, 1993
  • 1,127.90′ – October 18, 1973
  • 1,112.30′ – June 26, 1984
  • 1,111.90′ – April 17, 1987
  • 1,109.10′ – March 26, 1979

The lowest level recorded of Tuttle Creek after it was constructed occured on January 4, 1967 when the lake dropped to 1,060.82 feet due to a prolonged drought.


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