At least two levees breached in Atchison County Sunday morning.
Atchison County Emergency Management Coordinator Rhonda Wiley says a 40-foot full breach was located 2 miles north of U.S. Highway 136. Another 20-foot breach was reported a quarter-mile south of the Watson boat dock. Wiley says a big concern is the rapid rate at which the water is moving.
“Prior to the breach, we had had overtoppage,” said Wiley, “which is kind of a slower flow of water. The main channel was really fast up the rivers. On the outer side of the levees, it wasn’t as fast as it was in 2011. But, out on the outer side of the levees, it wasn’t as fast as what we were looking at in 2011. But, out on the outer side of the levees, it wasn’t as fast as what we were looking at in 2011. But now that we’ve had the breaches, the water is starting to move faster, and the faster these breaches become, the faster that the water is going to move–which is a big concern for personal safety for people that want to look around the water’s edge, and look at the damage.”
In fact, Wiley says incorrect detours are a problem around the county’s dangerous areas.
“Part of the problem is from people who are not from this area, that are rerouting through our area,” she said, “even though they have had to pass barricades, and pass detour signs. They just keep coming out to where they’re trying to find a way around to get to Nebraska, to get to Omaha. They’re even going down to the bottoms on 111, where there’s water over the road, and asking for directions, saying ‘we’re trying to get over to the 75 Highway.’ Well, if you were over the 75 Highway, you couldn’t go north that way, either, because of the floods.”
Fortunately, Wiley says most residents west of Interstate 29 have cooperated with evacuation orders.
“We do have two people were still staying in Watson,” said Wiley. “I’m hoping that they move out today. If something should happen there, then we at least know where their homes are. For the most part, I believe everyone was out. They’ve done a really fantastic job of getting themselves out. Some started a few days prior to the flood actually happening, That was the big thing–because the earlier start, the quicker you can get everything out.”
Wiley reminds residents to stay off the river bottoms, as well as away from the flooded areas.