Tuttle Creek Lake rose just over a foot within 24 hours as of Wednesday morning and a total of 3.04 feet since Saturday, but lake officials said they don’t expect to increase releases “in the forseeable future.”
The lake now stands at 1,126.92 feet above sea level, inching the lake closer to the point of water releases and to 1,136 feet, the level at which U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials would open the spillway gates.
Corps officials said they are keeping to minimum outflows, and although no water releases are expected from the tubes or spillway in the near future, the rising water has triggered measures like more frequent meetings with local authorities to discuss the potential for an emergency flood response.
Inflow to the lake was at 24,000 cubic feet per second Wednesday morning, with a minimum discharge of 200 cubic feet per second to avoid flooding areas downstream. The Corps is keeping a close eye on river conditions downstream at Waverly, Missouri, on the Missouri River — into which Tuttle Creek Lake flows by way of the Big Blue and Kansas rivers.
On Tuesday, Brian McNulty, project operations manager for the Corps at the lake, said that the Corps could release more water from Tuttle Creek if the lake reaches 1,128.3 feet as long as the Waverly gauge showed flows of less than 180,000 cubic feet per second. As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, that gauge reported a discharge of 311,000 cubic feet per second.
Rain is in the forecast for the region over the next days, with Manhattan set to receive an additional round of showers starting Wednesday night and chances of thunderstorms through early next week. McNulty said Tuesday that lake officials do not anticipate the lake to rise to 1,128.3 feet despite the forecast.
The lake still has almost 25 percent of its flood control space available.
The Corps is hosting a public meeting to discuss the potential for flooding between 7 and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Manhattan Fire Station headquarters at 2000 Denison Ave.