Date: September 2, 2016
Flood Levels: Minor
Duration: ~1 week
Dam Outflow: ~1,500 cubic feet per second*.

The Miller Springs Nature Center is now closed due to the flooding. After the water levels drop sufficiently there will be a drying out and cleanup period. The duration of this period will depend on how fast things dry out and how much cleanup will be needed.

*The outflow of the dam remains at a level where some trails are still flooded in several places. If no significant rains occur in the next week or so we can expect the outflows to be reduced to below 1,000cfs and those trails should begin to emerge from the floodwaters. The stone bridge was damaged by a previous flood and is not safe to use at the moment.

Miller Springs Nature Center Flood Table
50cfs 2,400cfs 2,800cfs 3,900cfs 5,000cfs
Green Pond Crossing None None None None Minor
Prairie Loop None None None None Major
South River Loop None None Minor Minor Major
Below Dam None None None Minor Major
Old River Trail None Minor Minor Major Major
Stone Bridge None Minor Major Major Major

Closed/Flooded Trails

  • Stone Bridge crossing
  • Prairie Loop west section
  • South River loop, south and west sections (south bypass is open)
  • Old Forest Trail (2 sections).
  • The Old River Trail near the outflow channel.
  • The low water crossing near the stone bridge is flooded.

The following chart shows the depth of the water flowing over the Stone Bridge that you can expect for various Leon River flows as seen at the flow gauge downstream of the dam. The current value for the flow is shown at the top of this page. Note that to the left and right sides of the bridge the water will be much deeper and it also varies along the length of the bridge.

Do not cross the Stone Bridge!

There is a hole in one span and a crack in the adjacent span. Additional damage may have occurred during the recent water level rise.

Water Depth versus Flow

Shown below is a rough map of the areas flooded at high flow rates. Note the trails appear dimmer when under water. These are the areas you may expect will be muddy and should be avoided.

Please do not walk, jog or bike through muddy or flooded areas! This can harm you and the Nature Center.

 
Click for larger view
Miller Springs Nature Area Flood Map for Lake Belton Outflows of 5,600 cubic feet per secone.

Flood Photos

Stone Bridge as seen from the southeast side. Note that long sections of the access trails are also flooded. The Leon River flow is 4,600 cubic feet per second (cfs).
Stone Bridge Flood seen from the south side
 
This is at the SW corner of the South River Trail where Joplin Creek crosses it. At high water levels in the Leon River the waters back up into the nature center and flood a very wide section of the trail. The Leon River flow is 5,500cfs.
Flooded Area on South River Trail, Joplin Creek Inlet
 
Just north of the flooded trail a new trail has been cut. You may use this trail to bypass the flood waters. Given the constant pumping in the nearby quarry it is likely that Joplin Creek will continue to flow for a long time. In this case please use the bypass. The Leon River flow is 4,600cfs. At flows of 5,700cfs the stepping stones will be about 5″ underwater. In that case bikes can cross as the bottom is lined with stone but hikers will get their feet wet!
Stepping stones on Joplin Creek Bypass
 
Further to the west is another section of flooded trail along the Leon River. The flooded area is very long so you will not want to walk or bike it! The Leon River flow is 5,500cfs.
South River Trail, south segment
 
This flooded area is on the west side of the South River trail, looking south. For high flows it should be avoided at all costs as you could easily be swept into the fast flowing river at one spot. The Leon River flow was 5,500cfs.
South River Trail, west side flood