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Floodwaters make way down Smoky to Cedar Bluff

7/1/2014

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dalynews.net

None of the vehicles slowing down for a closer look were sporting an "I brake for floodwaters" bumper sticker.

Still, brake lights were common Monday as vehicles approached the U.S. Highway 283 bridge spanning the Smoky Hill River at the upper end of Cedar Bluff Reservoir.

It's a scene that played out all along the Smoky Hill upstream of Cedar Bluff, where heavy rain fell during the weekend.

Among those taking the time to look at the water was a Ransom woman, who didn't want to give her name. She said rains this month have amounted to 12 inches, but she wanted to see just how much water an unofficial report of 10 inches would contribute to Cedar Bluff.

On Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported 815 cubic feet of water -- nearly 50,000 gallons every minute -- were flowing into Cedar Bluff.

With the inflow, water levels at Cedar Bluff have climbed nearly 2 feet in the past week.

Minor flooding was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey during the weekend, but water levels in central Trego County have started receding slightly from a peak of 7.17 feet late Sunday night. Flood stage at the Arnold river station is 7 feet.

At Elkader, south of Oakley, water levels peaked Saturday night at 9.6 feet -- slightly higher than flood stage of 9 feet.