Manhattan Warns Residents Living Near Big Blue & Kansas Rivers To Prepare For Potential Flooding

1993 Photo of Tuttle Creek Spillway. Courtesy of Manhattan Flood Updates on Facebook
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(RILEY COUNTY AND POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, KS – May 16, 2019) Tuttle Creek Lake currently is at the third highest level since the dam was constructed. Because of the high water level, some residents in Riley and Pottawatomie Counties have already experienced flooding along creeks at the north end of Tuttle Creek Lake.

Residents living near the Big Blue and Kansas Rivers should be prepared in case a large release from Tuttle Creek Lake into the Big Blue River makes evacuation necessary. The situation is serious but it is NOT an emergency at this point.

A floodplain map is available at Residents living in areas highlighted in red and yellow should begin making preparations now.

To prepare for possible flooding:

  • Sign up for Emergency Alerts to receive notices by phone, email, and/or text message.
  • Riley County
  • Pottawatomie County
  • Make a plan to evacuate if the need arises. Decide what items are essential to bring with you if you are away from your home for days or weeks such as: picture ID, prescription medications, vaccine records, formula, pets and pet food, important documents, clothing, irreplaceable items, and electronics.
  • Decide where you will go if you are told to evacuate. Shelters will be available but flooding could last for a long period. If you have relatives or friends outside the floodplain, you will likely be more comfortable staying with them instead of at a shelter.
  • Talk with your neighbors. If evacuation becomes necessary, some of them may need help.
  • It may not be too late to get flood insurance for your property and belongings. Flood insurance takes 30 days to go into effect and it is available to renters. Contact your insurance agent to find out more.

If major flooding happens, public utilities across the City and the County could also be impacted. Electricity will be turned off immediately in inundated areas and will be turned back on when conditions are safe. The water supply in Manhattan and rural water districts will be reduced. Residents will be advised to stop all irrigation and conserve water. Stormwater issues may affect sewer processes as well.

Depending on the amount of torrential rainfall in the Blue River basin, 7-10 days is the earliest that Riley County Emergency Managers anticipate seeing large releases from Tuttle Creek Reservoir that could impact areas flooded in 1993. No evacuation orders have been issued for that area at this time. Hopefully, rainfall amounts will not make evacuation necessary.

To learn more, please attend the public meeting with the US Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday, May 22 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at Manhattan Fire Station Headquarters located at 2000 Denison Ave in the first floor meeting hall.

If you are unfamiliar with the areas impacted in the 1993 floods, please refer to the 1993 flood maps on the Riley County website and or City of Manhattan website at Updates will be shared on Facebook ManhattanFloodUpdates and Twitter @updatesflood.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.