The Hutchinson News
Heavy rain that drenched central and south-central Kansas Monday was enough to cause flooding in several area communities, and officials continued to monitor some areas as they waited for floodwaters to recede.
Nearly 6 inches of rain fell at Lindsborg late Monday, flooding more than 125 homes and causing some city residents to evacuate. At Hesston and Newton, residents battled flooded streets and some reported water in their basements. Russ Buller, director of Emergency Services at Hesston, said Middle Emma Creek that runs through Hesston caused some of the flooding that peaked around 6 p.m. Monday. They had reports of several stalled vehicles trying to go through deep water on city streets. Three miles south of Hesston, Ridge Road remained closed because of water Tuesday. The road south of U.S. 50 was still closed at 5 p.m., and a dispatcher said the water levels were still rising in some places. A portion of U.S. 50 between Halstead and Newton also was closed because of flooding Tuesday morning, though it reopened in the early afternoon. Buller said he calculated 5.43 inches of rain in Hesston, although he had reports of 7 inches and higher from residents around town. "It just dumped water, and it just kept coming and coming," he said. "It was 9 in the evening before it started to ease up." "It's been a lot of years since we have seen anything like this come in that short of time," he said. McPherson had nearly 2 1/2 inches of rain, which caused some standing water to low-lying areas and a few city parks, said McPherson Police Chief Robert McClarty. The storm cell dumped the most rain in the northern part of McPherson County, moving in a southeasterly direction to Neosho County, where one report showed nearly 7 inches of rainfall. Meanwhile, Reno County missed much of the brunt of the storm, receiving just 0.83 of an inch of rain in Hutchinson between 7 a.m. Monday and 7 a.m. Tuesday. A few isolated areas received more, including the southwest corner of the county, where some reported 3.68 inches, said Robb Lawson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Wichita. "Hutchinson missed out on the really heavy stuff," he said, noting that Wichita did, as well. Hutchinson did receive 3.81 inches since Friday, with a total of 6.16 inches for the month of July, not quite making it into the 10 wettest Julys on record. Reno County Emergency Management Director Bill Guy said Tuesday afternoon that a few county roadways had been closed because of high water. Guy said Cow Creek near 82nd Avenue "spilled its banks" and flooded a few roadways, including Sallee from 82nd to 108th and Wilson Road from 82nd south to 69th. He also said 95th Avenue between Wilson and Dean also was closed. The county continues to monitor the situation, he said, noting that Cow Creek was still rising somewhat at midday Tuesday, including upstream at Lyons, where there was minor flooding due to the overflow. Flood stage at the Lyons gauge is 18 feet. The river reached its expected crest of 18.2 feet at 5:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Cow Creek at Nickerson was at 10.32 feet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.