Brush Creek (Blue River)

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Brush Creek
USACE Brush Creek Kansas City.jpg
Brush Creek flowing through Kansas City, Missouri
Country United States
States Kansas, Missouri
Part of Blue River
City Kansas City
 - location East Johnson County, Kansas, United States
 - elevation 741 ft (226 m)
 - coordinates 38°59′04″N 094°39′34″W / 38.98444°N 94.65944°W / 38.98444; -94.65944 [1]
Mouth Blue River
 - location Kansas City, Missouri, United States
 - elevation 222 ft (68 m) [1]
 - coordinates 39°02′20″N 094°31′14″W / 39.03889°N 94.52056°W / 39.03889; -94.52056Coordinates: 39°02′20″N 094°31′14″W / 39.03889°N 94.52056°W / 39.03889; -94.52056 [1]
Length 10.5 mi (17 km), East [2]
Kansas City metropolitan rivers with Brush Creek in the middle
Brush Creek in the Country Club Plaza

Brush Creek is a 10.5-mile-long (16.9 km)[2] stream that runs from Johnson County, Kansas through Jackson County, Missouri. It is a tributary of the Blue River, and by the Blue and the Missouri rivers it is part of the Mississippi River watershed.

Brush Creek begins near West 80th Street and Lamar Avenue in Overland Park, Kansas and drains to the Blue River at Blue Banks Avenue and Hardesty Avenue in Kansas City.[2] It drains 27 square miles.[citation needed]


The stream has played a major historic role in the Kansas City metropolitan area.[citation needed]

The Battle of Westport, the biggest battle in the American Civil War west of the Mississippi River, was fought on either side of it.

The Country Club Plaza is built on the banks of the creek. The expansive lawn of Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art runs from the steps of the museum down to the creek.

Attempts to control flooding on the creek by paving it with concrete produced by companies owned by Boss Thomas Pendergast were a scandal in the 1930s.[3]

Heavy rainfall in September 1977 resulted in Brush Creek flooding the Plaza with 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 m) of water. The next stream westward, Turkey Creek on the Kansas side, also flooded at the same time. Twenty-five people died in the flood, and damage exceed $66 million.[4]


Kansas City, Missouri has a combined storm water and sanitary sewer system. During heavy rains, sewage from the sanitary sewer can overflow into the storm sewer and appear in local waterways. Several waterways, including Brush Creek, are posted with signs discouraging contact with the water after rain. Because of this, one local nickname for this stream is "Flush Creek". [5][6] As part of a settlement with the EPA, Kansas City has started a 25-year, $2.5 billion project to improve the city's sanitary and storm sewers, which should eliminate this problem.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Brush Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 1978-10-13. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  2. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 31, 2011
  3. ^ Cole, Suzanne P.; Engle, Tim; Winkler, Eric (April 23, 2012). "50 things every Kansas Citian should know". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ Rex C. Buchanan & James R. McCauley, Roadside Kansas: A Traveler's Guide to Its Geology and Landmarks, 1987, University Press of Kansas.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^

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