Missouri River Flood

Back in May, the upper Missouri river basin received a year’s worth of rain in just a few weeks.  That, coupled with more than 200% the normal snow melt run-off in that area caused near record reservoir levels in eastern Montana and the western Dakotas.  As a result, record releases began at Gavin’s Point dam on the Missouri river. Current releases are 160,000 cubic feet per second and are expected to continue through August.

We watch daily news reports about broken and over-topped river levies as the water makes its way down the Missouri, and the flooding is expected to occur all the way along the river to where it empties into the Mississippi at St. Louis. Over the 4th of July weekend, we went for a drive to see the floodwaters for ourselves.

At White Cloud, an old river town founded in 1857 on the northeast Kansas border, the water is lapping at the edge of town.

From an overlook in White Cloud, we can usually see miles of rich farmground. But no crops will grow here this year.

In the pic below you can see grain storage bins in the center of the photo. One of them is leaning. To the right of the bins, you can see a home. Hope they were able to get their possessions out before the water rose.

In the center of the pic below, you can see an irrigation rig used for watering crops. Don’t think it’s needed this year.

Below, you can see a home with farm buildings, all underwater.

At Atchison, another river town about 50 miles north of Kansas City, the view is the same: thousands of acres underwater.

In the foreground below is the Missouri river, but in the distance you can see water has escaped and covered the fields.

News reports say that the floodwaters won’t recede until at least August. The landowners won’t be growing any crops this year, or maybe even next year. Even after the water is gone, large deposits of sand will need to be removed, levies will need to be rebuilt, and large holes dug out by the water’s current will need to be filled.

Additionally, many homeowners along the river have been evacuating their homes in fear of more broken levies, and won’t be able to return until late summer when the danger is past.

So in the coming months, people will watch and wait, and hope for the best.


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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24 Responses

  1. Teresa says:

    It is just unbelievable how much power water has. I’m sure it will be a long time before there is any kind of normal for life along this river.

    • Suzanne says:

      True Teresa. But I can’t help but wonder if anyone should live along the river or if crops should be grown there. The river will do what it does when it does. Maybe it’s a force of nature we will never be able to control.

  2. Tina says:

    Heartbreaking.I pray for them every morning, all victims and survivors. Please help your neighbors if you can.

  3. wow, I was not aware of this. that is so horrible!! I can’t even imagine what it must feel like to lose all of that farmland to a flood. very sorry for the people who’s live have been affected.

    • Suzanne says:

      What’s especially sad it that it is ongoing, and will not end for months – it’s an everyday heartbreak.

  4. Kathy says:

    These pictures tell it all. I feel so badly for these people whose lives have been uprooted by the flood. Hopefully they will be able to return sometime soon. But I know their lives are changed for a long time to come.

    • Suzanne says:

      Very true. Floodwaters are a nasty thing. Muddy, smelly and moldy. Cleaning up afterward is not an option. People whose houses have been flooded will have to replace drywall, carpets, etc.

  5. Sally Bishop says:

    Amazing to see so much water outside it’s boundries and we’ve had no measurable rain since November. Boggles the mind.

    • Suzanne says:

      Oh that it could be piped out to you. That would be good for everyone all around. Prayers to you Sally.

  6. Peggy says:

    This just makes me sick! My family lives in Missouri and I have seen this in so many places. Apparently when the fields get flooded the receiding water leaves loads of sand in the fields. This sand all needs to be removed or you can’t replant. I have seen fields and fields of dead corn. I once lived next to the Mississippi and saw first hand flooding. Amazing how powerful water is!

    • Suzanne says:

      Very true. We tend to think that the Missouri and Mississippi have been tamed. But they do like to show us who’s boss.

  7. Darlene says:

    I feel so sad looking at the water when people south and east of there need water so badly. Maybe someday things will average out and everyone will get their allowed supply. Great pics by the way.

  8. Becky L. says:

    This flooding isn’t good! It’s amazing the devastation the US has been hit with this year! I pray for these people affected in their daily lives. It will affect us if we are dependent on some of their crops. It hurts all of us, one way or another. Thanks for sharing.

    • Suzanne says:

      Seems like the US has had more than it’s fair share of bad weather this year. Hopefully things will settle down next year.

  9. Glenda says:

    Our local news hasn’t been showing these scenes. Maybe our local town of Joplin’s tornado damage is the reason. One third of the town was wiped out and people are still living in tents!

    These scenes just break my heart for people! I can’t imagine what they are going through.

    • Suzanne says:

      And we don’t hear about Joplin anymore here. Didn’t know people were still living in tents still. Oh dear.

  10. Doe of Mi. says:

    The weather this year is so horrid I find it hard to find the words of sympathy, horror, and disbelief I feel for all the people who are having to live thru it. I cannot even imagine having to come home to such distruction. How very sad. And then to clean all that up. On my! Prayers for all of them in the flood, tornado, and drought areas.

  11. Mrs. H says:

    Part of the reason so much farm land is flooded this year is due to that judge somewhere in the U.S. that last month or in May ordered the farmland be flooded in a couple of states, instead of letting the towns be flooded. They should’ve let the water run its course through the towns, as heartbreaking as that would be for more people than just a few farmers. You can move people but you can’t move crops. That judge’s decision is contributing to higher food prices.

    • Suzanne says:

      I heard the Army Corp of Engineers is getting a lot of heat over this as well. Maybe something will change as a result and this kind of flooding can be avoided or at least lessened in the future.

  12. shelljo says:

    I so wish there was a way to catch that water and bring it out to Western Kansas. We’re 10 inches below our normal rainfall. Grain prices are going to go up–with our drought, the heat, and others with flooded fields. And…the price of groceries will be going up as well.

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