Floodwaters Raged 65 Years Ago This Week in Topeka

Flooding that began 65 years ago this week cost 40 Kansas residents their lives.

The National Weather Service says the Kansas River reached its highest level on record in Topeka on July 13, 1951. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that high waters caused the river to break through a dike to flood the city’s North Topeka business district.

Topeka was among 186 cities and towns in Kansas and Missouri damaged by the flooding. The flooding came after storms that began in late April dumped 28 inches of rain over the Kansas River basin by July 13.

Afterward, sturdier dikes were built to protect Topeka. Also, the number of reservoirs built to hold water on the lower Kansas River basin expanded from five to 18.