The 1903 and 1993 Floods in Kansas
Topekans were up to their ankles, and probably deeper, in water 100 years
ago this Memorial Day (2003). The Kansas River overflowed its banks on May
31, 1903, flooding North Topeka with up to 12 feet of water in some
places. Twenty-four people were drowned. Ninety years and almost 2 months
later on July 25, 1993, floodwaters again threatened the city, but time
and technology had changed the effects of too much water in the Kansas
River Basin. Floodwaters in 1993 were contained within protective levees
and by regulated outflow from several Federal reservoirs located upstream.
No lives were lost, and property damage was much less than it otherwise
would have been.
"Mad Water" at Lawrence, Kansas
during 1903 flood
Controlled Flow Over the Emergency Spillway at
Tuttle Creek Lake,
July 1993 (photograph by Charles A. Perry,