MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources (KDA-DWR) and the Kansas Water Office (KWO) are aware that there is erosion on a watershed dam south of Sabetha, and staff have been monitoring the situation since early Tuesday. While the situation is serious, no significant change has occurred during that time and dam failure is not imminent, contrary to reports shared earlier today.
Maps have been developed for significant and high hazard dams in Kansas that show the area that would be flooded if the dam were to fail. In this case, if the watershed dam south of Sabetha were to fail, the map indicates that agricultural lands would be flooded, as well as a couple of local roads (County Road 220 and County Road 250). Those roads have not been impacted at this time, but have been closed in a precautionary measure.
Mapping does not show water would extend over Highway 36 or out of the banks for more than a few miles downstream and does not indicate flooding in other areas with significant residential or commercial development.
KDA-DWR and KWO are in communication with the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and would work with them to notify residents if any significant risk were to exist to residents downstream.
For more information about dam safety resources in Kansas, go to www.agriculture.ks.gov/damsafety.