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With flood warnings due to more rain, Kansas adds counties to disaster declaration

Tranquil Kansas waterfall turns into raging torrent after heavy rains

The waterfall at Cowley County State Fishing Lake near Arkansas City is normally a trickle of water over a rock ledge. Recent heavy rains have turned it into a raging waterfall.
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The waterfall at Cowley County State Fishing Lake near Arkansas City is normally a trickle of water over a rock ledge. Recent heavy rains have turned it into a raging waterfall.

Update, 10 p.m. Friday:

Sedgwick Public Schools has canceled school for Tuesday due to predicted flooding, district officials said in a Facebook post.

Original story:

The Kansas governor has added more counties to the state disaster declaration as continued rainfall has led to more flood warnings.

The Wichita branch of the National Weather Service predicts strong to severe thunderstorms Monday night into Tuesday that may produce hail the size of a half dollar and wind gusts of up to 60 mph. Flooding is the greatest threat from the thunderstorms predicted for Tuesday, the weather service said.

“Widespread heavy rainfall with 2 to 3 inches are likely across much of the region through tonight, with locally higher amounts around 6 inches possible,” the NWS said in a hazardous weather outlook. “The area greatest at risk for highest rainfall amounts will affect mainly south central and southeast Kansas. The heavy rainfall will cause significant rises on area rivers and creeks with many likely to exceed flood stage. The heavy rainfall will also lead to flash flooding of some rural and urban areas due to saturated ground soils.”

Flooding along many rivers could be “very significant,” the weather service said. A flash flood watch and flood warning have been issued for many cities and counties in the region.

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In Wichita, the National Weather Service predicts showers and thunderstorms to continue through Monday night and into Tuesday afternoon. The chance for rain Monday night is 100 percent.

Gov. Laura Kelly added 10 counties to the list of counties where disasters had been declared due to flooding earlier this month.

“Many Kansas counties have been impacted by severe weather and flooding in recent weeks,” Kelly said in a statement. “With more rain and severe weather on the way, Kansans should be cautious, follow weather warnings, and avoid flood waters. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center will be activated today to assist with the flood and weather response.”

Counties listed in the declaration include Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Cherokee, Clark, Cloud, Cowley, Dickinson, Geary, Greenwood, Harvey, Kingman, Lyon, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Morris, Neosho, Osage, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Sumner, Wabaunsee and Wilson.

The disaster declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations.

Photos and videos of storms and damage can be submitted to The Eagle online at www.kansas.com/customer-service/submit-photo/.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Since a levee was built to protect the city of Halstead in 1994, the waters of the Little Arkansas River haven't gotten as high as they're forecast to get in the next 24 hours.

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