Wednesday, July 6, 2011


The Missouri River, which runs right through the middle of Kansas City, has been busy flooding for several weeks now.  Luckily, our house is many miles from the river, so the flood won't come here, or at least that's what Mom says, and I hope she is right.  But some people already had to move out of their houses and farms because of the flood.  Mostly these people are farther north, like in Nebraska and Iowa and North Dakota, but the flood is also happening further downstream, in the middle of Missouri.

Earlier this spring, the Mississippi River flooded, but that river seems way far away from us, so I did not pay too much attention to that flood.  But the Missouri River is right here in town, like I told you, so that makes it worth worrying about.

Sometimes floods happen because there is a ton of rain, which is what happened in 1993.  That was the last time the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers (and some other rivers, too) flooded a whole bunch.  Mom remembers this flood really well, but I don't remember it because I wasn't even born yet.

But anyway, the flood this year is not so much because of rain, but it's more because of snow melting in Montana, or some place like that.  So what happened was they got more snow than usual during the winter, and then when warm weather came, the snow melted.  And the water from the melted snow ran into all these lakes, and the lakes got really full.  So then people started opening the dams to let the lake levels go down.  Which made the river get all full and fast and floodlike.

The flood of 2011 is not supposed to be as bad as the flood of 1993 was, unless it starts raining a whole bunch, which I don't want it to do because I hate going out to pee in the rain.  But there are a bunch of places where the river broke through the levees, which are big humps of earth all along beside the river that are supposed to keep the river in its place.  The levees aren't always strong enough to do this, so they break, and then the water goes rushing into a cornfield or some other nice, flat place where water likes to go.  And it might even go into houses and barns, which is not a good thing.

Sometimes people fill bags with sand and pile them up to make a levee where there isn't one already.  If the people are lucky, the sandbags will keep the river out, but it all depends on how high the water gets.

Everybody who lives right by the river is worried about the "flood stage," which tells you whether the river is flooding or not.  For example, the flood stage in St. Joseph, which is north of here, is 17 feet.  But at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, the river was at 29.09 feet, so it was definitely flooding.  On the news last night, we saw police and reporters cruising around a neighborhood in St. Joseph in a motorboat because there is like 3 or 4 feet of water in some of the streets.

Kansas City has a the flood stage of 32 feet, and yesterday the river was 31.97 feet, so it is almost about to be considered a flood.  And in the middle of the state, at Boonville, which is close to where Mom went to college, the flood stage is 21 feet, but the river is actually 27.26 feet right now.

Meanwhile, all the rivers and streams that flow into the Missouri River are getting fuller than usual because when they get to the Missouri, there is so much water in it already that there's no room for the water from these other streams.  So that makes some of them start flooding, too.

Oh, and you can't get from Missouri to Iowa on highway I-29 anymore because part of the highway is flooded, so no one can drive there.  And also they closed some bridges from Nebraska to Iowa, and from Nebraska to Missouri, but those might be open again now.  I can't keep track of all this stuff because it's always changing!

Anyway, this whole situation is going to continue for a long time, like maybe all summer.  It's very sad for the farmers who live by the river because they won't have any crops this year.  Also maybe their houses and barns will be ruined by the water, if it gets high enough.  I don't know what farmers do with their cattle when there is a flood coming, but I hope they have some pasture on higher ground where the cows can go and not have to tread water while they are grazing.

So here's my advice for anybody who wants to go look at the river while it is flooding: "Don't get too close!"  Because if you fall in, you are sure to drown.  That's how strong and fierce the water is.  Of course, as a basenji who hates water, I wouldn't go near the river even when it wasn't flooding, but there are people and dogs who are crazy enough to want to do these things, so I'm just warning you!


  1. I think there was a flood here in New York not too long ago, although I think it wasn't a real one because it was only waist deep because of all the buildings in Acropolis, outside was knee deep. It felt funny but I got used to that tingly feeling like when you go swimming and the cold water feels really nice from that weird feeling but yeah, you get used to it.


  2. I don't think I could ever get used to wading around in a bunch of water, but that's just because I'm a little dog who doesn't like water! LOL


  3. That’s very unfortunate! I hope you and your love ones were safe when the flood almost ravaged this area. Sadly, there’s only so much you can do about natural disasters, such as treating and supervising the detrimental and dangerous effects the storm waters could bring to our health and environment. Stay safe!

    Sharon Strock @ StormChamber®