Bridge across the Republican near Riverton, Nebraska
|- left||North Fork Republican River|
|- right||Arikaree River|
|- location||Dundy County, Nebraska|
|- location||Jefferson Township / Smoky Hill Township, Geary County, Kansas|
|Length||453 mi (729 km) |
The Republican River is a river in the central Great Plains of North America, rising in the High Plains of eastern Colorado and flowing east 453 miles (729 km) through the U.S. states of Nebraska and Kansas.
The Republican River is formed by the confluence of the North Fork Republican River and the Arikaree River just north of Haigler in Dundy County, Nebraska. It joins with the South Fork Republican River immediately southeast of Benkelman, Nebraska. All three tributaries originate in the High Plains of northeastern Colorado. From the confluence, the river flows generally eastward along the southern border of Nebraska, passing through Swanson Reservoir and Harlan County Reservoir before curving southward into the Smoky Hills region of Kansas. The Republican River joins the Smoky Hill River at Junction City, Kansas to form the Kansas River.
Some cities along the river are McCook, Nebraska, Clay Center, Kansas, Concordia, Kansas and Junction City, Kansas. Near Concordia is the Republican River Pegram Truss, a bridge that goes over the Republican River that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Allocation of the water from the Republican River is governed through an agreement called the Republican River Compact, involving the states of Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado, as modified by the settlement of a United States Supreme Court case involving a water-use dispute under the Compact.
The storm of May 31/June 1 (called "Nebraska's Deadliest Flood") dumped an average rainfall of nine inches on the river's watershed. This storm was also unique in that it moved in the same direction as the drainage basin. As a result, the Frenchman, Red Willow, Medicine, Deer, Muddy, and Turkey creeks all reached their flood peaks at the same time as the crest passed on the Republican River.
According to witness accounts, the roar of the water could be heard coming down the Republican Valley five miles away. Many survivors also reported that there were two crests - the water came up on May 28, then receded slightly, but the second crest on June 1 greatly exceeded the first. At one point, the water rose six feet in thirty minutes and was ten to fifteen feet higher than the previous record crest. Another account states that the Republican rose 10 feet in 12 minutes in McCook; naturally, anything in the path of that wall of water would be destroyed. Water was twenty feet deep in some places, and the discharge was an incredible 280,000 cubic feet/second - more than 320 times the normal flow today.
Estimates show 113 people killed. over 11,400 to 41,500 head of cattle were killed with one report stating that carcasses littered roads as to make them impassable. 341 miles (549 km) of highway and 307 bridges were destroyed with 74,500 acres (301.5 km2) of farmland were inundated.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Republican River.|
- "Republican River". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed March 25, 2011
- "North Fork Republican River". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "South Fork Republican River". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "Arikaree River". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- Stewart, George R. (1967) Names on the Land. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 223.
- Final Settlement Stipulation, Kansas v. Nebraska, December 15, 2002, retrieved 2012-08-14
- Kansas v. Nebraska, 538 U.S. 720 (2003) (per curium order approving settlement).
- A Proud Past... A Pictorial History of Concordia, Kansas, by Bell, Rachel Lowrey (1998), Marceline, Missouri: D-Books Publishing.
- Nebraska State Historical Society "Republican Flood of 1935-Nebraska's Deadliest Flood"
- Verne, Jules (1876). Around the World in Eighty Days. Boston: James R. Osgood. p. 253.
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