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Flooding, more moisture forecast as soaking rains soothe much of Kansas

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, June 9, 2014, at 7:53 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, June 15, 2014, at 2:23 p.m.

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It was a rainy day Monday across much of Kansas, with long soaking rains that quenched crops, brought out almost-forgotten umbrellas and caused a few flooding concerns.

There were reports of flooding in Barton, Ellis, Rice and McPherson counties, where between 3 and 5 inches fell overnight Sunday and into Monday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Darmofal.

Law enforcement and weather officials warned residents to beware of additional flooding and runoff on small creeks and streams, farmland and county roads.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Monday, some weak funnel clouds were spotted on the ground in Sedgwick County. One was near Town West Square, where a tree was toppled and car windows were reported broken, Darmofal said. Another was reported near the Sedgwick-Butler county line northeast of Colonel James Jabara Airport.

Wichita has received 3 inches of rain since Thursday, Darmofal said. Most of the rain has fallen over longer periods of time rather than during sudden downpours. That’s allowed the water to soak in rather than quickly run off. By nightfall, Wichita had recorded about a quarter-inch of moisture for the day.

“Minor street flooding is our biggest concern, but it has been so dry,” Darmofal said.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service issued a flood warning for northern Reno County due to 2 to 3 inches of rain that fell during the early evening hours. Another inch was expected to fall overnight. Local law enforcement agencies were reporting flooding on the north side of Hutchinson.

Near Hays, Paul McRae, retired veterinarian and farmer was marveling over 4 inches of rain that came on Monday and an additional inch that fell this past weekend. On Monday morning, he drove to Hill City.

“On (U.S.)183 highway, the ditches next to the road were like two rivers on each side,” he said.

The rains came too late to help his wheat crop but early enough to help those who have planted milo, corn and soybeans.

“I’d be a bad hypocrite to curse the rains,” McRae said after his son-in-law got a pickup stuck and McRae’s jeep wouldn’t pull the vehicle from the mud.

The rains, he said, are still a good thing.

Thunderstorms are predicted again Wednesday night and this weekend.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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