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May 31, 2013

More rain could lead to more street flooding Friday

Residents of the Wichita area could face a second straight day of street flooding during the morning commute Friday, weather officials warned Thursday.

Residents of the Wichita area could face a second straight day of street flooding during the morning commute Friday, weather officials warned Thursday.

Heavy early morning rains caused widespread street flooding Thursday, authorities said. While several people had to be plucked from stranded cars, no injuries were reported.

“There’s a bunch of them,” a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor said of vehicles stranded in floodwaters. “They’re everywhere.”

West Wichita seemed particularly hard hit, with stalled vehicles reported at Harry and Meridian, the 3100 block of West 13th, the 1800 block of South Meridian and the intersection of 13th and Meridian.

More than 2 inches of rain fell in west Wichita in about a two-hour span just before the morning commute hit full stride, said Jerilyn Billings, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. More than 2 inches was also reported in northeast Wichita near Jabara Airport.

Unofficial reports of 4.75 inches or more came from near 21st and Ridge Road in northwest Wichita, and more than 4 inches of rain was reported in western Sedgwick County.

The official rainfall total for Wichita was 1.88 inches as of Thursday afternoon, recorded at the weather service office in southwest Wichita.

Strong thunderstorms are possible in the metropolitan area and in southeast Kansas in the early morning hours of Friday, said Chance Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist for the Wichita branch.

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