ATCHISON, Kan. — The City of Atchison is declaring a water emergency in response to continued low river levels.
The city said the low level on the Missouri River is primarily the result of ice jams located upstream, one of which is reported to be 60 miles in length.
The U.S. Corps of Engineers indicates that the ice jams are still holding in place but is potentially allowing increased flow below the ice.
The Corps is hoping that warmer temperatures will eventually alleviate this situation; however, there is potential for the ice jams, once they break loose, to get held up at certain points as they make their way downstream.
The city said for several days it has been relying solely on a lesser-capacity auxiliary pump to draw from the river as levels dropped below the primary intake and remains at that low level, resulting in the need for emergency conservation measures to be taken.
Medical facilities are also not being required to limit water usage but are being encouraged to save water where possible.