The Verdigris River near Lenapah, Oklahoma
Map of the Verdigris watershed
|• location||Madison, Kansas|
|• elevation||1,090 ft (330 m)|
|489 ft (149 m)|
|Length||310 mi (500 km)|
|• location||USGS 07176000 near Claremore, OK|
|• average||4,644 cu ft/s (131.5 m3/s)|
|• minimum||3.4 cu ft/s (0.096 m3/s)|
|• maximum||77,700 cu ft/s (2,200 m3/s)|
|• right||Fall River, Elk River, Caney River|
|Waterbodies||Toronto Lake, Oologah Lake|
The Verdigris River // is a tributary of the Arkansas River in southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma in the United States. It is about 310 miles (500 km) long. Via the Arkansas, it is part of the Mississippi River watershed.
The Verdigris is formed near Madison, Kansas, by the convergence of two short headwaters streams, its North and South forks, and flows generally southward throughout its course. South of Coffeyville, Kansas, the river enters Oklahoma. It joins the Arkansas River near Muskogee, Oklahoma, about a mile upstream of the mouth of the Neosho River. The area of convergence of the three rivers Arkansas, Verdigris and Neosho is called "Three Forks".
The river is mentioned in accounts by Zebulon Pike (1806), Thomas Nuttall (1818). Fur traders had numerous posts along its route where they met with Native Americans to exchange goods for furs. The river is also mentioned in the novel Little House on the Prairie (1935) by Laura Ingalls Wilder, of her memories when her family moved to Kansas from Wisconsin.
The name is derived from the Spanish words verde, meaning "green," and gris, meaning "grey." According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the name may be derived from a gray-green substance resembling a copper ore, which tinged the water.In the U.S. treaty of 1834 with the Cherokee Indians, the river was named as a part of the boundary of their lands in the Indian Territory.
In 1994, Tom Paxton wrote and recorded a song: Along the Verdigris, celebrating its rural tranquillity, on his Album Wearing The Time.
In July 2007, Coffeyville Resources suffered flooding at its refinery at Coffeyville by the Verdigris River, causing a spill of about 1,700 barrels of crude oil.The company made efforts to ameliorate the damage.
On May 25, 2019, Rogers County sent out a civil authority message to all radios In Washington County, Tulsa County, and other counties about the river rising rapidly.
Several dams built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cause the Verdigris to form Toronto Lake near Toronto, Kansas and Oologah Lake near Oologah, Oklahoma. More dams and reservoirs are downstream along the Arkansas River.
From just north of Catoosa, Oklahoma to the river's confluence with the Arkansas, barge traffic is supported on the river via the McClellan-Kerr Navigation System. This consists of a series of locks and dams on the Arkansas and the Verdigris rivers; this system enables commercial navigation between the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area and the Mississippi River, and thence to the Gulf of Mexico.
In Kansas, the Verdigris collects the Fall River at the town of Neodesha and the Elk River at the town of Independence. In Oklahoma it collects the Caney River in Rogers County.
Montgomery County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 35,471. Its county seat is Independence, and its most populous city is Coffeyville.
Rogers County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 86,905, making it the sixth-largest county in Oklahoma based on population. Its county seat is Claremore. Rogers County is included in the Tulsa, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Nowata County is a county located in northeastern Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,536. Its county seat is Nowata. The county name is derived from a Delaware word "no-we-ata," meaning "come here" or "welcome." It is located on the Kansas border.
Coffeyville is a city in southeastern Montgomery County, Kansas, United States, located along the Verdigris River in the state's southeastern region. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 10,295. It is the most populous city of Montgomery County and with its southeast Kansas location is in the Tulsa, Oklahoma media market. The town of South Coffeyville, Oklahoma is approximately 1 mile south of the city.
The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's source basin lies in the western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas River Valley, where the headwaters derive from the snowpack in the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges. It then flows east into the Midwest via Kansas, and finally into the South through Oklahoma and Arkansas.
U.S. Route 166 (US 166) is a 164-mile (264 km) west–east United States highway. This route and US-266 are the only two remaining spurs of historic U.S. Route 66, since US-666 was renumbered to US-491 in 2003.
Green Country, sometimes referred to as Northeast Oklahoma, is the northeastern portion of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, which lies west of the northern half of Arkansas, the southwestern corner of Missouri, and south of Kansas.
The Neosho River is a tributary of the Arkansas River in eastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma in the United States. Its tributaries also drain portions of Missouri and Arkansas. The river is about 463 miles (745 km) long. Via the Arkansas, it is part of the Mississippi River watershed. Its name is an Osage word meaning "clear water." The lower section is also known as the Grand River.
The Tulsa Ports is near the city of Catoosa in Rogers County, just inside the municipal fenceline of Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. Located at the head of navigation for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, it handles shipping loads through its waterway access to the Arkansas River via the Verdigris River. TPOC offers year round, ice-free barge service with river flow levels controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It encompasses an area of 2,500 acres (10 km2) and employs over 4,000 people at over 70 companies in its industrial park. The port ships manufactured goods and agricultural products from Oklahoma to the rest of the world. Designated a foreign trade zone, it is a major economic engine for the region with over 2.7 million tons of cargo shipped through the Port in 2013 alone.
The Grand River is an alternate name for the lower section of the Neosho River, a tributary of the Arkansas River in Oklahoma. "Grand River" refers to the section of river below the confluence of the Neosho and Spring rivers in Ottawa County near Miami. It empties into the Arkansas northeast of Muskogee, just downstream from the confluence of the Verdigris River with the Arkansas. The area of convergence of the three rivers Arkansas, Verdigris and Neosho are called "Three Forks".
Area codes 918 and 539 are telephone area codes serving Tulsa and northeast Oklahoma. Besides Tulsa, these area codes cover cities such as Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, Claremore, Gore, Jenks, McAlester, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Pryor, Sapulpa, Tahlequah, and northeastern Oklahoma.
The McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) is part of the United States inland waterway system originating at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and running southeast through Oklahoma and Arkansas to the Mississippi River. The total length of the system is 445 miles (716 km). It was named for two Senators, Robert S. Kerr (D-OK) and John L. McClellan (D-AR), who pushed its authorizing legislation through Congress. The system officially opened on June 5, 1971. President Richard M. Nixon attended the opening ceremony. It is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Lake Oologah is a reservoir in northeastern Oklahoma. It is located near the towns of Oologah, Nowata, and Claremore. The lake has a surface of 29,500 acres (119 km2) of water and 209 miles (336 km) of shoreline with 11 lake-side parks. The water storage capacity is rated as 552,210 acre feet (681,140,000 m3). The lake is formed along the Verdigris River, and is a source of water for the Tulsa Metropolitan Area. The purpose of the dam and lake is flood control, water supply, navigation, recreation, and fish and wildlife.
Lampsilis rafinesqueana, the Neosho mucket or Neosho pearly mussel, is a species of North American freshwater mussel endemic to Arkansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas.
U.S. Route 169 is a U.S. highway that begins in Tulsa southeast of Downtown. The highway runs north into Kansas.
Bird Creek is a stream in northeast Oklahoma. The main creek is formed from the waters of North Bird Creek, Middle Bird Creek, and South Bird Creek, all of which rise in Osage County. The South and Middle branches of the creek converge at Bluestem Lake. Outflow from the lake is called Middle Bird Creek. North Bird Creek joins Middle Bird Creek northwest of Pawhuska, and from that point on is simply Bird Creek. From Pawhuska, the creek flows southeastward and eastward through the north side of the Tulsa metropolitan area, before reaching its mouth at the Verdigris River near Catoosa. Major tributaries include Birch Creek, Hominy Creek and Mingo Creek. There are numerous minor tributaries, both named and unnamed, that have contributed to historical flooding problems in the Tulsa area.
Chouteau Lock & Dam, also identified as Chouteau Lock & Dam 17, is 17th lock and dam of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) from the Mississippi River to its terminus at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, and is the first lock and dam on the Verdigris River in Oklahoma, just above the Three Forks junction with the Arkansas River. The lock is about 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Okay in Wagoner County, Oklahoma. Construction of this facility started in 1966 and was completed in 1970. The estimated cost of Chouteau Lock & Dam was $ 31.8 million.
Between May and June 2019, an extended sequence of heavy rainfall events over the South Central United States caused historic flooding along the Arkansas River and its tributaries. Major and record river flooding occurred primarily in northeastern Oklahoma, and the elevated flows continued downstream into Arkansas where the caused additional inundation. Antecedent soil moisture levels and water levels in lakes and streams were already high from previous rains, priming the region for significant runoff and flooding. The prolonged combination of high atmospheric moisture and a sustained weather pattern extending across the continental United States led to frequent high-yield rainfall over the Arkansas River watershed. The overarching weather pattern allowed moisture levels to quickly rebound after each sequential rainfall episode. With soils already saturated, the excess precipitation became surface runoff and flowed into the already elevated lakes and streams. Most rainfall occurred in connection with a series of repeated thunderstorms between May 19–21, which was then followed by additional rains that kept streams within flood stage.