The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) hopes to bring water levels at Tuttle Creek Lake down to a normal range by late-December. As of October 11, the lake level is at 1,119.64 fee (update; 1117.6 ft as of 10/15)t, a Flood Phase II pool level. The normal lake level is at or below 1,075 feet.
Bringing Tuttle’s water level down to a normal pool before the lake freezes, allows the porous limestone in the area to dry out, preventing wear-and-tear caused by ice formation.
Much of the water in the reservoir is left over from spring and summer’s rains. Releases to drain this water cannot increase until downstream flows at Waverly, Missouri, reach 180,000 cfs or less, to prevent flooding in the Missouri River Basin. Today, the flow rate at Waverly is 175,000 cfs and the USACE plans to increase Tuttle Creek outflows to 10,000 cfs on Saturday.
Brian McNulty, Tuttle Creek Operation Project Manager, says the hope is to continue increasing the outflow, but is unsure if that will be possible. The is no rain in the immediate forecast, and the Missouri River is forecast to continue receding, but high water levels at Gavin’s Point Dam due to winter storms may bring its outflow to 90,000 cfs. Precipitation dropped by Sept. 13 storms in North and South Dakota is also just now flowing through the Waverly control point.
The Missouri River has not been below flood stage since mid-March. Multiple levees were breached by the floods and repairs cannot yet begin as the river remains too high for officials to begin making damage assessments.
However, annual inflow at Tuttle Creek is still less than what it was in 1993. No immediate flooding is expected in our area from the release rates, and the Kansas River flow is expected to begin falling on Saturday.
Anyone interested can sign up for emergency alerts at:
Riley County Emergency Alerts
Pottawatomie County Emergency Alerts
Links to information:
Tuttle Creek Lake Levels
Inflow and Outflow
Waverly Flow Rate