Officials on Monday afternoon lifted the high-water advisory for areas downstream of Tuttle Creek Lake along the Big Blue and Kansas rivers.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said water releases from Tuttle Creek Dam have been reduced to 12,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), which led to the advisory being lifted.
The releases had been as high as 30,000 cfs after Tuttle Creek Lake nearly reached its capacity of 1,136 feet above sea level during the last week of May.
The Corps anticipates that release rates will likely be lowered to 3,000 cfs by the end of the week as the lake continues to fall.
The downstream area had been under at least a high-water advisory since the morning of May 29. Officials placed areas of the Northview neighborhood under an evacuation advisory from the evening of May 29 to June 2.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Pat Collins, Riley County emergency management director, said in a press release. “Any large amount of rain can impact the Tuttle Creek Lake level. We encourage people to stay alert and aware.”
Collins said 1,128 feet above sea level is the “critical trigger” for implementing emergency preparedness and precautionary measures. The lake elevation was 1,129.24 feet as of Tuesday.
Also on Monday, Kansas Highway 13 over Tuttle Creek Dam reopened after 15 months of construction.
The Corps completed a bridge deck replacement project over the dam’s spillway gates.
Along with K-13, the river pond area of Tuttle Creek State Park reopened Monday.
Scattered showers and storms are expected in the area over the next several days. Officials said up to 2 inches of rain is possible later in the week and into the weekend.
Even as the river levels decline, officials said riverbank stability will be an issue. Riverbank soils are saturated, and large sections can detach and fall into the river at any point.
Emergency officials rescued a 28-year-old man last week in Wabaunsee County after he fell into the Kansas River because the bank he stood on caved in.
Officials in Riley and Pottawatomie counties will meet later this week to determine whether public access boat ramps can be reopened for the weekend.
The Flood Information Hotline was deactivated Tuesday, but information is available on the city of Manhattan website at cityofmhk.com/flood and on the Manhattan Flood Updates Facebook and Twitter pages.
The lake is 54.24 feet above its normal level.