A second day of storms on Tuesday was not as severe as Memorial Day in the region, but still brought heavy rain that exacerbated already saturated conditions.
Tuesday night’s heaviest rainfall totals in Ellis County were reported from Hays and areas north, with 1.11 just west of Hays to 1.7 inches about 2 miles northwest of the city.
Heavy rain through the area caused the Saline River north of WaKeeney to peak at nearly 25 feet Monday night. The water level was down to 10 feet by Wednesday morning.
In Ellis, Big Creek also swelled to a depth of 13 feet from significant rainfall events Monday and Tuesday.
“For Big Creek, the flood water reached as high as 13 feet in Ellis, which was right at where the National Weather Service predicted it to reach,” Darin Myers, Ellis County Emergency Management coordinator, said in an email this morning. “It is still holding steady as of this morning just under the 13-foot mark.”
Photos shared by Ellis County officials Tuesday evening also showed elevated water levels in the Saline River off of U.S. Highway 183 north of Hays.
The bridge was closed to traffic, as the water appeared to be almost level with the bridge and there were concerns about flooding.
“The flood waters on the Saline River took most of yesterday to reach the eastern portions of Ellis County,” Myers said.
Many roads in Ellis County remain closed due to flooding and damage caused by rising water levels. County road and bridge crews were heading out again Wednesday morning to reevaluate the situation and see if it is safe to begin any repairs, said Curt Hoffman, road and bridge supervisor.
Roads closed as of this morning included: 2800 block of 130th, 2900 block 130th, 500 block of Wiles Road, 400 block Saline River Road, 500 block of Saline River Road, Riverview Road between 170th and 180th avenues, intersection of 150th Ave. and Saline River Road, and the 2700 block of 170th.
Rising water levels in Big Creek near Ellis also prompted closure of the bridge at 11th and Baughman, the 1700 block of 110th Ave and the 1700 block of 130th Ave.
“I know Big Creek has come up considerably over there,” Hoffman said, noting he has received a report of water still running across the roads near the eastern section of the highway.
Tuesday night’s rainfall was not as heavy farther west, but high water was still reported in some areas.
In Gove County, Plum Creek was reported out of its banks for a 2-mile stretch north of Quinter, flowing over Castle Rock Road. Hackberry Creek southeast of Quinter was also reported out of its banks.
Hail from 1 to 1.75 inch was reported in the Plainville area in Rooks County, according to the National Weather Service. Osborne, Portis and Yocemento also hail an inch or larger. A 60 mph thunderstorm wind gust was also reported in Osborne.