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Fort Leavenworth airfield flooded after levee breach

By Divina Mims, CNN
  • Rising Missouri River floodwaters eroded earthworks protecting airfield
  • Base warns nearby residents to watch for wildlife fleeing the flooding
  • Fort Leavenworth will use another airfield to continue operations, spokesman says

(CNN) -- Officials at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, warned area residents Thursday about potential danger from flooding caused by a levee breach on Wednesday.

The breach in the levee, which had protected Sherman Army Airfield from the rising Missouri River, caused the airfield to start flooding on Wednesday. Fort Leavenworth spokeswoman Rebecca Steed said floodwaters undercut nearby Union Pacific railroad tracks and then began eroding earthworks around the levee.

"Fort Leavenworth is doing everything possible to mitigate any dangers and damages from the flooding," public affairs officer Jeffrey Wingo said in an alert to area residents.

A Fort Leavenworth Facebook posting warned residents to remember that wildlife such as snakes and rodents may move inland to escape the flooding.

Wingo said there was no major impact at Fort Leavenworth and officials will use another airfield to continue operations.

The water is expected to continue to rise, and there is no crest level projected, according to Steed.

Sherman Army Airfield is inside Fort Leavenworth, but also allows civilian use. According to a U.S. Army website, the airfield receives hundreds of flights annually.