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Emergency officials say levees in Elwood are in good working order

Following a meeting with local emergency officials and members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, officials say the levees around Elwood are in good working order.

Posted: Mar 20, 2019 4:29 PM

(ELWOOD, Kan.) Following a meeting with local emergency officials and members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, officials say the levees around Elwood are in good working order.

As forecast crests of the Missouri River continue to fluctuate, officials are installing pumps along the levee in preparation that the river might reach 30 feet. Current forecasts do not bring the river to 30 feet as the river cresting at 29.2 feet Friday morning.

When officials inspect the current condition of the levees, they search for what are called sand boils. These are areas where the water starts to whirlpool and dig out material from the levee.

"We haven't seen any of those thus far in the Elwood community," Rick Howell, the public information officer for the Doniphan County Emergency Management said. "So we feel really good about the structure and condition of the levee."

As for water levels on the levee themselves, Howell says there is still some room for water.

"We still have quite a bit of room on the levee wall to take a little more water," he said.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Elwood continues to work 24/7 to monitor the latest water levels in St. Joseph and upstream. 

Emergency officials will only issue mandatory evacuations if the river is expected to crest at 30 feet. As of Wednesday afternoon, no mandatory evacuations are in place for Elwood.

If you do choose to evacuate on your own, you are asked to stop by the EOC located at the fire station in Elwood.

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