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Salt Creek Watershed

PL 566 Structures Spare Farmers Wrath of Historic Storm

September 2003—In early September, fifty PL-566 floodwater-retarding structures prevented extensive flooding and related damages from a 500-year rain event that struck North Central Kansas. The predominantly agricultural region was inundated by up to 13 inches of rain in a 12 hour period that caused flash flooding on all streams. However, much of the excessive runoff was captured (then slowly released) by the PL-566 structures, located in Salt Creek and Spillman Creek watershed districts (Mitchell and Lincoln counties). Those structures provide an estimated $2 million per year in flood protection.  Protection that proved invaluable to the farmers who were preparing for harvest (corn, soybeans and milo) and planting (winter wheat) when the massive, early September storm hit.

Salt Creek Watershed, Mitchell County, Kansas

Photo of Upper Salt Creek Site 14 Reservoir Photo of Upper Salt Creek Site 14 principal spillway inlet

Upper Salt Creek Site 14 Reservoir


Upper Salt Creek Site 14 principal spillway inlet

Photo of Upper Salt Creek Site 14 Reservoir showing debris line Photo of Upper Salt Creek 16 auxiliary spillway flow


Upper Salt Creek Site 14 Reservoir showing debris line


Upper Salt Creek 16 auxiliary spillway flow

 

Photo of cropland erosion downstream of auxiliary spillway exit Photo of Upper Salt Creek Site 16 principal spillway outlet


Upper Salt Creek Site 16 - Cropland erosion downstream

of auxiliary spillway exit


Upper Salt Creek Site 16 principal spillway outlet

Photo of Upper Salt Creek Site 16 debris on upstream face of dam Photo of Upper Salt Creek Site 18 debris on upstream face of dam


Upper Salt Creek Site 16 debris on upstream face of dam


Upper Salt Creek Site 18 debris on upstream face of dam