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Amid disaster-level flooding in Kansas, governor asks Trump for emergency declaration

Fall River dam opened, bringing uncertainty to communities downstream

(May 25, 2019) Fall River reservoir has reached a record level, and now the Army Corp of Engineers are releasing water from the dam. The town of Fall River was voluntarily evacuated as precaution.
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(May 25, 2019) Fall River reservoir has reached a record level, and now the Army Corp of Engineers are releasing water from the dam. The town of Fall River was voluntarily evacuated as precaution.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is asking President Donald Trump for an emergency declaration amid disaster-level flooding in nearly half of the state’s counties.

Kelly made the request Sunday after an unusually wet month in the state. The National Weather Service office in Wichita said this month has been the second-wettest May on record in Wichita. With more storms in Tuesday’s forecast, this May could become the wettest of any month in the city’s recorded history.

As of Sunday, 11.96 inches of rain had fallen this month at Wichita’s Eisenhower National Airport, where the National Weather Service has its office.

Kelly has declared states of disaster in 49 of 105 Kansas counties due to flooding.

Those counties are: Allen, Anderson, Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Elk, Franklin, Geary, Greenwood, Harvey, Hodgeman, Jefferson, Kingman, Lincoln, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Riley, Rush, Saline, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson.

Emergency declarations authorize state and federal governments to assist local emergency crews with resources and personnel for response and recovery operations.

The weather service predicts a 60 percent chance of rain on Tuesday, but after that thunderstorm passes, Wichita is expected to remain dry until Friday night. Large hail, damaging winds, heavy rain and the potential for tornadoes will be threats from that storm, according to an NWS hazardous weather outlook.

Widespread river flooding is expected to continue through the week. Several highways in the state have closed due to flooding. More information on travel alerts for flooded highways is available online from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

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

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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