Corps closes Outlet Park at Melvern Lake due to high flood pool

Lake level nears flow through uncontrolled spillway

MELVERN, Kan. – Melvern Lake elevations have continued to rise this spring due to wet conditions across the Kansas and Missouri River basins. Currently the Melvern Lake flood pool is 78 percent occupied, leaving minimal space to store additional flood waters. Projected rainfall over the next 24 hours could be significant. Due to the lake level being within 3 feet of the uncontrolled spillway, Outlet Park is being closed at 10 p.m. Saturday, May 25, 2019, to prevent elevated risk to life and safety. All occupants are being asked to exit the area as of 3 p.m. today.

Current projections indicate that the lake will rise to elevation of 1,055 feet on Sunday, May 26. At lake elevation 1,057 feet, water begins flowing uncontrolled through the spillway and would have direct, immediate impact at Outlet Park. The dam is operating as designed. In accordance with dam safety protocol, increased surveillance and monitoring of the dam is being performed and will continue until reservoir levels decrease.

If projected rainfall occurs, releases will be operated through the outlet works as allowed. The current weather pattern is dynamic, and in the event that flood storage is used and inflows exceed the capabilities of the outlet works, uncontrolled flows may begin out of the emergency spillway. Releases from the outlet works also have the potential to affect the campground and facilities.

A statement from the Kansas City District said, “Human life and safety are the priority in reservoir operations. These actions are precautionary and necessary to ensure public safety. The public should monitor National Weather Service forecasts and follow the direction of local authorities and emergency managers.”

The Kansas City District is also reminding the public to wear a life jacket while on or near the water. Be vigilant of the safety risks associated with high water such as floating debris or obstructions covered by high water which can create dangerous boating conditions. Expect the unexpected and be prepared. Do not drive or walk into flood waters on the road. Any time you come to a flooded road please turn around, don’t drown! Never enter standing or moving water to cross a road.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas